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Inspection at Toronto LTC home underway after woman feels need to call ambulance for sick father

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TORONTO —
Long term care inspectors visited a North York home today after a woman called an ambulance for her sick father who was not being treated for a severe urinary tract infection.

Jacy Ruuhala told CTV Toronto Wednesday that her 78-year-old father’s condition was getting worse by the day and staff did not treat him with antibiotics. When she called Ontario’s Long Term Care Home Action Line, Ruuhala was told they were understaffed and were inundated with complaints and they would not be able to get an inspector out to the home for three days.

“I described the story and they had a process of triaging and they said we are just very busy and we can maybe get there by Wednesday and I said i don’t think we have until Wednesday with my dad and I don’t want to take that risk.”

She called an ambulance and her father is now being treated at Humber River Hospital.

On hearing the complaint through CTV News Toronto, Rod Phillips, Ontario Minister for Long Term Care, said the care was unacceptable.

“She did exactly what I would have done, it is completely unacceptable, first at the home level, seven days this is not the standard we expect and then the hot line this is not a situation where anybody should be delayed”

The Ministry ordered an inspection of the facility. Hawthorne Place is the same facility that the army took over in the summer of 2020 when COVID-19 was taking a heavy toll on long-term care facilities across the province. More than 500 residents died at this facility. A military report found there was human waste and vomit on the floors and walls, along with fungus, mould and cockroaches in the building.

Long-term care advocate Vivian Stamatopoulos says the government is still not taking it seriously.

“…there has been investigation after investigation. I remind everyone this is one of the military report homes, one of the same homes that Military personnel said should be shut down and the owners charged.”

Ruuhala says her father is still having a difficult time even in hospital now.

“He’s not doing so well, he is having a very slow recovery,” she told CTV News Toronto.

After touring a new long-term care facility still under construction just next door to Hawthorne Place, Philips said his government is committed to fixing long term care in Ontario.

“We expect the highest quality care, the highest standard of care. Ontario is investing in a plan to fix long term care. We are adding 27,000 staff and that is important, doubling the number of inspectors”.

Ruuhala can only hope there is positive change.

“Proof is in the pudding. So what is going to happen five months from now or even sooner. Like this is an immediate problem that is continuously happening. And not only that home, but other homes and you know, it is tough.”

Stamatopoulos says the bad apples need to face serious charges.

“We are still hearing the same neglect and negligence and preventable injury which leads to preventable death happening every day and nothing is being done to hold these homes to account

Nearly 4,000 long-term care residents died in Ontario because of COVID-19.

Calls for comment to Hawthorne Place went unanswered.



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