Some families are upset over the level of care their loved ones have been receiving while under quarantine at Manoir Notre-Dame nursing home in Moncton.
Carol Brun of Dieppe, N.B., said her father is a resident at the senior care home, which is still under lockdown following an outbreak of COVID-19 last month. She said her father was one of the first residents at the home to test positive for the virus.
Fortunately, she said he never developed any symptoms, but she says she found the response to the outbreak at the home was unacceptable
“They are short-staffed and I get that. I am not blaming the staff at all. It is not the staff’s fault like poor them a lot of them probably had to self-isolate,” she said.
She says it was the province that was ill-prepared to care for patients during an outbreak at such a large facility. She says at the beginning of the outbreak her father went days without laundry service while meals and medications were delivered hours late.
The president of the New Brunswick Council of Nursing Home Workers, Sharon Teare, said she believes the team of nurses and relief staff sent in to help out at the home was insufficient from the beginning.
“Going into the long weekend they put a cry out for staffing to staff the facility on the long weekend so obviously not all lessons were learned,” said Teare.
Teare says the province should have had a pre-approved list of COVID-19 relief staff on standby ready to respond given the staffing shortages at nursing homes across the province which she said are not being addressed even amid the pandemic.
“COVID has shown a spotlight on a system that was broken before COVID and it can no longer continue,” she said.
New Brunswick’s Minister of Social Development, Bruce Fitch, said the home did experience some delays in services. But he says a rapid response team was deployed to the home and did manage to contain the outbreak to one floor.
He said balancing daily care and the outbreak can be a little chaotic.
“You have people working the front lines who are doing their best to provide the care and to make sure that the virus doesn’t spread to other residents,” said Fitch.
He said the province is at the bargaining table with the union representing nursing home workers to address those staff shortages.
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