A Winnipeg woman whose father died from COVID-19 at the embattled Maples Long Term Care Home says the province’s review of that facility doesn’t tell the full story.
Eddie Calisto-Tavares, whose 88-year-old father Manuel died at the care home in November, told 680 CJOB she’s furious the government isn’t taking responsibility and that several issues remain unaddressed.
“The fact that they kept telling all of us that our loved ones were asymptomatic — asymptomatic people don’t die.
“I witnessed residents walking down the hall, who had accidents, and the cleaning staff would refuse to clean it because they were subcontractors and they had no training on how to clean for that,” she said.
Calisto-Tavares, who quarantined at a nearby hotel to be able to spend time with her dying father at the care home, said the review neglected to mention all of the work residents’ loved ones were doing — on their own time — to ensure they were getting the proper care.
She said she and her family brought their own cleaning supplies into Manuel’s room, and made sure they talked to staff and nurses regularly to bring up concerns about his care.
“I’m livid, I’m so livid that this government has taken no accountability. It is shameful, it is shameful.”
On Thursday, the government committed to implementing all of the recommendations in an external review conducted by Dr. Lynn Stevenson, a former associate deputy minister in British Columbia’s Ministry of Health, who was appointed by the province in November to review the situation.
Stevenson’s report looked at staffing levels, the level of care provided, and the site’s policies and procedures when dealing with infection prevention and control.
While the review found pandemic plans were in place, the care home was unprepared for the staff reductions once employees became exposed to the virus and had to self-isolate.
Heather Stefanson, Manitoba’s health minister, told 680 CJOB she met with families and staff before the recommendations went public.
“It’s a very emotional time and a very tragic time,” she said.
“I understand that as family members they want to get to the bottom and the root of what caused this for their family members and I think that’s what has transpired here with respect to this report that has been issued with Dr. Stevenson.”
Stefanson said Calisto-Tavares’ anger over the report isn’t necessarily indicative of the other feedback she’s received from families.
“Yes, that is one voice, but there are many other voices at the table as well,” she said.
“Obviously everyone has their own experience when it comes to their own loved ones. That’s why I wanted to reach out to the families.
“We had some positive feedback from families about changes that have taken place.”