KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – There is a lot of debate happening around Long Term Care (LTC) and I would like to chime in as a family member with a loved one in LTC.
The workers in these facilities are doing the best they can within a system that is broken. They are picking up shifts to cover absences that management doesn’t staff, they take their turns being mandated to work past their scheduled hours, and they take on extra hours on their days off. They do all of this because they care about our loved ones. They do not want to see their care being compromised due to short staffing.
However, it should not be up to the workers to fix this situation!
Each and every LTC facility needs more staff. They need more staff so that the workers can actually do what most of them likely signed up to do, spend more time giving comfort, care and love to our family members that are ageing and getting sicker. When a LTC facility is short-staffed, this means the minimum gets done, which is not the fault of the workers. When facilities are short-staffed it means things get missed, it means that special attention cannot be given to residents that need it, it means that workers get tired and burnt out.
Yet through all of this, residents get as much love and care as the workers can give within their daily workload. When workers have down time, they should be able to sit with the residents, have a conversation, have a cup of tea, play a game of cards but they usually don’t have time to do that. When they have down time, often, they have to spend it on a computer filling out reports and doing paperwork, or spend it covering the work of an unstaffed position.
We need more staff in every single LTC facility not only within this province, but within this country. The care of our seniors and most vulnerable needs to be a priority to all of us!
The workers need to be shown more respect, and frankly they need to be paid much more than what they are. I feel their job alone, as CCA’s or LPN’s etc, gives them a huge responsibility that must be shown respect and warrants proper compensation. They are taking care of human beings that require more love and care at this time in their lives ,as many of them deal with diseases that are very difficult, both mentally and physically.
We need to stand up for the residents in LTC by demanding more staff and more resources be given to LTC as a priority. We also need to stand up for the workers in these facilities by demanding they get the respect that they deserve for doing one of the most important jobs within our society, taking care of our loved ones!
I can’t thank the workers enough for all they do for our mother! You have my love and respect. Thank you all.
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