‘There was one nurse for 100 residents’
Daughter of Maples resident who died rejects COVID-19 outbreak report
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 04/02/2021 (673 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The daughter of a senior who died in a COVID-19 outbreak at the Maples care home, in which 56 lives were lost, said she doesn’t trust the review that probed the crisis.
Minutes after the province released the external probe, Eddie Calisto-Tavares called for the resignation of the chief health operations officer of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Gina Trinidad. She also wants the provincial government to take responsibility for its failure to prepare care homes for the second wave of the pandemic last fall.
Her father, 88-year-old Manuel dos Santos de Sousa Calisto, died on Nov. 11, days after paramedics rushed to the care home after it was reported a number of residents had been found dead or near-death in their beds. In a 48-hour period, eight seniors died.
The review found that the care home was poorly equipped to care for the extremely ill seniors due to a severe shortage of staff and lack of preparation. It made 17 recommendations related to staffing, care and infection prevention, and control procedures at the home at 500 Mandalay Dr., and management of the province’s long-term care facilities.
Calisto-Tavares said Trinidad, who went to the home the night paramedics found two dead seniors in their beds, was wrong when she told the public hours later that the level of care there was satisfactory. At the time, Calisto-Tavares was in the home caring for her dad.
“(Trinidad), along with Revera (the owner of the home), knew there was no staff at that home,” Calisto-Tavares said at a news conference organized by the Manitoba Liberal party.
“On the night of the nightmare, we all know what happened: there was one nurse for 100 residents.”
Calisto-Tavares said she’s upset the author of the report, Lynn Stevenson, didn’t listen to families when they told her during a virtual meeting they were unsatisfied with information given out.
“To have Stevenson today not hold this government responsible for that disaster… Stevenson’s report, I do not trust it,” Calisto-Tavares said.
“She sent out an agenda saying she was going to look at planning and preparedness. And she never addressed that in my call with eight other people. And I called her on that and said you did not ask any of us.
“How did Revera, how did the Maples, how did the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, how did the government of Manitoba, plan for the second wave?
“Instead of spending money on reopening Manitoba and taking a vacation, we should have been spending money on hiring staff, not just for the Maples, but for all the care homes that needed it.”
The outbreak was declared on Oct. 20 and by the time it was declared over on Jan. 12, 74 staff members and 157 residents had been infected. Fifty-six people had died.
Jean Gissen, whose 87-year-old mother, Betty Hutchinson, died on Nov. 6, said she agrees with recommendations for more nurses and health care aides when care homes need it, but they should have been in place before the second wave of the pandemic.
“She died the same day the paramedics were called,” Gissen said. “She was a strong woman and was fighting really hard. She really wanted to stay alive.
“They weren’t prepared for this… it is a little too late for my mother and a lot of other people. She should have been in hospital.
“If she had been there, she might be around.”
Joann Kubas, whose mother-in-law, Rose Kubas, 77, survived the outbreak in Maples, said she hasn’t seen the report yet, but is interested to see what changes are implemented at the home because her mother still lives there.
Kubas said the care home and the provincial government had plenty of time to get ready for the second wave of COVID.
“It’s easy for them to say they didn’t know what the ramifications would be of not having enough staff there, but seeing everything unfold in Ontario should have given them ample opportunity to know what would happen.”
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.