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FCO response to Canadian Armed Forces Report

May 27, 2020

Dear families,
We join with all Ontarians and Canadians in expressing dismay, sadness, and anger at the observations made in a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) report released on May 26th 2020. No human being – regardless of where they reside – should live in such conditions. The Ministry of Long-Term Care has pledged to take immediate action to investigate the concerns raised by the Canadian Armed Forces. We look forward to the results of that investigation and the actions taken to ensure resident safety.
We also need to keep in mind that this report does not reflect the conditions or care at all -- or most -- LTC homes in Ontario. There are many, many long-term care homes that deliver safe, high quality care by caring and professional people. FCO strongly encourages all of us – government, sector stakeholders, families and Family Councils -- to learn from and share promising practices from the homes that have continued to deliver excellent care through the COVID-19 pandemic. By learning from those homes, we can and will improve the long-term care system.
We know that long-term care has had a staffing crisis for many years; COVID-19 did not create this issue but rather exacerbated it. And, we know that we cannot simply go back to normal after the pandemic is over. Together with families, government, and sector partners we need to create a new normal that fully honours the personhood of all residents, recognizes the valuable contributions families make to creating high quality long-term care, establishes a system-wide staffing model that creates safe and vibrant long-term care homes, and provides important accountability and oversight mechanisms.
We fully support a complete review of the sector so that all long-term care residents can be treated with dignity and enjoy a high quality of life. The time for transformation and change is now and we are looking forward to the opportunity to work with our partners to make that happen.

Samantha Peck
FCO Executive Director