Thursday Tidbits

Posted on May 14, 2020 under Thursday Tidbits with one comment





Health care heroes at our nursing home


“For the times, they are a changin.”

The Times They are a Changin – Bob Dylan

At least one hopes so.

The world is being transformed right before our eyes. Change is never easy but as has been said repeatedly, the only thing constant is change. But this is the big one, a once in a lifetime event,and the changes will wash over us like a tsunami. This is not just change. This is transformative change.

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed many weaknesses in the health care system none more so (in my humble opinion) than long- term care facilities. I don’t know what the statistics are for the entire country but certainly the majority of deaths in Nova Scotia can be linked to long -term care homes.

Yes, I know. I have written about this before. This is not breaking news, but it is sad and distressing news. If we think the problems are bad now, just wait until the full force of the baby boom is felt. Obviously, the current model will not be sustainable as more and more people will require care. One can reasonably assume that people responsible for administering care for the aged see the looming crisis – a different crisis than Covid-19. There simply won’t be enough beds to fill the demands in the years ahead.

Home care and other non-institutional models must be pursued with vigor, but this will take time.

There will always be a need for long- term care facilities.

Publicly run nursing homes are not adequately funded. Many of the employees of these facilities are not properly compensated for the work they do. Some, like CCA’s are forced to work in more than one home to make ends meet. This has had disastrous consequences in other provinces. The work of people who keep these buildings clean goes unnoticed and underappreciated … until a pandemic arrives on the doorstep.

Governments are going to be under enormous pressure to do something about this situation. They are in crisis mode right now, but a day will come when the sun shines again and life will return to normal, whatever “normal” will look like.

With all due respect, I don’t think the final decision for matters relating to long term care matters should be left exclusively to the politicians and bureaucrats. We all have a say in how are loved ones are cared for. What can one person do to affect change? Not much but many voices could make a big difference.

I’m not an expert by any means on anything, let alone the funding of care facilities. I do know that health is generally considered a provincial matter but significant funding for health comes from the Federal government.

It might be time (while many of us have the time while in isolation) for the public to have a say.

I reached out to our Member of Parliament, Sean Fraser, last week to discuss this matter. He suggested a course of action which involves a petition to the Federal government to look at the chronic underfunding of long- term care facilities which includes wages. The more people who sign the petition, the stronger the voice. I will keep you posted but will be encouraging everyone to help with this initiative. This is a bit of a selfish endeavor for many of us baby boomers. While the current consumers of nursing home services are our parent’s generation, we’re breathing down their backs. We are going to need care in the not too distant future.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday of this week marked International Nurses Day.

Nurses are the glue that keeps the health care system functioning. I am 100% biased but I think Antigonish has been blessed for decades with some of the finest, most talented, and compassionate nurses on the planet. Like nursing homes, hospitals are operating under severe economic duress. The pressure is on nurses every day but during a pandemic it is even more apparent.

It is honorable to have an official day to recognize the work of the nursing profession. I would like to think that the citizens of our small town appreciate their work every single day of the year.

If only we could hug all of these health care workers to show them our appreciation.

Have a great and safe weekend.

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