The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the health and care of older adults, with particularly devastating consequences for those residing in some long-term care and retirement homes. Canada has a higher reported national proportion of COVID-19 deaths for long-term care residents than any other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development country, with nearly 80 percent of early COVID-19 deaths occurring in long-term care.[i],[ii]
Within this stark reality, we have seen some organizations respond to the challenge of the pandemic in resourceful ways. To support the long-term care and retirement home sector to rapidly share with and learn from each other, and strengthen pandemic preparedness and response, Healthcare Excellence Canada (formerly the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement and Canadian Patient Safety Institute) took action and launched LTC+: Acting on Pandemic Learning Together (LTC+).
LTC+ is assisting hundreds of teams delivering healthcare for older adults in congregate settings – staff, managers, policy makers, residents, family, care partners and others who are all working hard to manage tough situations now, while also trying to plan ahead.
This program strengthens pandemic preparedness and response in six key areas: preparation, prevention, people in the workforce, pandemic response and surge capacity, plan for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care, and the presence of family.
[i] Canadian Institute for Health Information. Pandemic Experience in the Long-Term Care Sector: How Does Canada Compare With Other Countries?. Ottawa, ON: CIHI; 2020; accessed on June 25, 2020: https://www.cihi.ca/sites/default/files/document/covid-19-rapid-response-long-term-care-snapshot-en.pdf
[ii] Estabrooks CA, Straus S, Flood, CM, Keefe J, Armstrong P, Donner G, Boscart V, Ducharme F, Silvius J, Wolfson M.(2020). Restoring trust: COVID-19 and the future of long-term care. Royal Society of Canada. https://rsc-src.ca/en/restoring-trust-covid-19-and-future-long-term-care.