The Canadian Armed Forces are officially departing from all long-term care homes in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) on Friday.
Over the course of their mission, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) teams supported the following homes: Orchard Villa, Holland Christian Homes Grace Manor, Altamont Care Community, Eatonville Care Centre, Hawthorne Place Care Centre, Downsview Long Term Care, and Woodbridge Vista Care Community.
Under Operation LASER, the military members deployed teams consisting of nurses, medical technicians and additional personnel.
They have been working in Ontario long-term care homes since April providing staffing support and helping with infection prevention and control, and other duties such as cleaning and food preparation.
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“We owe our brave men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces, and the military families who support them, a debt of gratitude for their service to our province during this crisis,” said Premier Doug Ford.
“From providing relief to our frontline workers, to taking care of our loved ones in long-term care homes, they have been there for their fellow Canadians when we needed them most. We hope to find ways in the near future to properly show our thanks for their contributions and for the contributions of all Ontarians who have gone above and beyond these past few months.”
In May, the Ontario government responded to the findings of the CAF report, which alleged behaviour of neglect and unsafe treatment towards the elderly.
According to the province, the Ministry of Long-Term Care has been addressing issues around infection control, standards of practice and quality of care, supplies, local practices, communication, staffing, and inappropriate behaviour.
To date, the following actions have been taken:
- Each home identified at that time as high-risk has been inspected or has an inspection underway
- Inspections at all the Canadian Armed Forces-supported homes have been completed and have since been expanded with inspectors remaining onsite
- Temporary management has been appointed at Altamont Care Community, Camilla Care Community, Orchard Villa, Extendicare Guildwood, River Glen Haven, Downsview Long Term Care, Woodbridge Vista Care Community, Forest Heights and Hawthorne Place Care Centre
- Each home identified as high-risk has been required to submit a plan to the ministry that details how they are improving care standards
The government also recently announced the launch of an independent, non-partisan commission into Ontario’s long-term care system beginning in July 2020.
Details of the commission are now being finalized, including the terms of reference, membership, leadership of the commission, and reporting timelines.