Building on Lessons and Remaining Vigilant
As we continue to immunize residents and staff against COVID-19, there is growing optimism across long-term care communities that there are better days ahead and an eventual recovery from the global pandemic.
There have been tragic losses suffered over the past year, and extreme hardships endured by residents, clients, families and staff. However, the arrival of vaccines and the use of rapid point-of-care testing in our homes are reasons for hope.
The powerful impact of vaccines can already be seen in a steep decline in COVID-19 infections and outbreaks at Extendicare and other long-term care homes and communities since the beginning of the New Year.
Vaccine supply in Canada is expected to grow significantly in the coming weeks. Extendicare is working with our public health partners across the country to administer the first and second doses that will help protect our long-term care residents, homecare clients and team members.
Meanwhile, the impact of the pandemic on long-term care has resulted in many calls for higher standards across the country. We at Extendicare agree — particularly about the need for more qualified and compassionate care staff and new homes built to modern standards.
We are especially excited by the funding announcements made by the Ontario government to increase the number of staff caring for residents and to replace aging buildings. We look forward to working with the province to implement these needed upgrades in all of our homes to address the long-standing staffing challenges this sector has faced for years. Extendicare is supportive of high, consistent standards across Canada, and the peace of mind they would bring to seniors and families. Seniors across the country share a common set of needs and we hope other provinces will raise the bar to the same level as Ontario.
There will still be challenges in the days, weeks and months ahead, and Extendicare, our teams and our communities remain vigilant. With vaccines being administered, hope is rising higher than it has been at any point of this pandemic. We are all looking forward to the day when our communities can return to regular activities and safely welcome the families and friends our residents have missed for far too long.