The impact of COVID-19 along with the existing understaffing issues in Ontario’s long-term homes has been more than overwhelming, especially for healthcare workers. We have seen in the past year till now, the relentless and tireless sacrifice of healthcare staff working around the clock to try to accommodate for this lack and save lives, but it’s not enough. On the contrary, the need keeps arising because of the effect of the virus and now the new variants. To say the effects of the virus has been great for healthcare staff – first responders to the virus – is an understatement. The effects have contributed continuously to the understaffing issues Ontario is still facing. Healthcare workers continue to face pressure daily because of the extra workload leading to exhaustion and reduced effectiveness of the staff. The uncertainty of these issues are enormous for all healthcare institutions and has led many long-term care homes to seriously consider emergency staffing measures.
Long term care facilities are, or have been, a home for many of our grandparents, our parents, our friends and our partners. For them, moving to a care facility means calling a new place home. For us, it means trusting strangers to take care of our dearest loved ones. For those reasons, these facilities must be staffed with healthcare teams that can properly provide for the needs of their residents and who care to provide the quality support we all hope for.
Canada’s story of long-term care extends back decades before our time, giving health professionals today a great deal of information to sift through and understand. We have done some of the grunt work by collecting information from trusted colleagues and authorities in the health industry to provide our readers with the most important pieces worth considering when staffing long term care facilities.