Coronavirus: After losing one parent, Montreal family anxious about long-term care facilities

Long-term care facilities in Quebec are plagued with COVID-19 outbreaks, prompting the government to take action earlier this week to help remedy the situation.

More staff and resources, including 450 doctors and 500 nurses, are being transferred from hospital settings to long-term care facilities.

Additionally, systemic testing for COVID-19 is being implemented in facilities with suspected cases of the virus.

One Montreal family welcomes the changes, but the fear and anxiety of the situation is taking its toll.

Connie Wheeland, 87, lives in a long-term care facility in Dorval. Her children, Peter and Judie Wheelend, haven’t been able to visit her because of COVID-19 restrictions.

“She’s cut off from everyone right now, and there’s very few staff,” said her son, Peter.

While they do manage to speak with their mother on the phone, they’re still worried.

“My biggest concern has always been the health of my mother and the other people in the residence,” Peter said.

They’re scared she isn’t getting the care and treatment she needs, a fear that’s being exacerbated by what happened to their father, Kenneth Wheeland, last weekend.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

“He died Saturday at 2:00 in the afternoon,” Peter Said.

Kenneth Wheeland lived in a long-term care facility in LaSalle. He had COVID-19.

Now Connie Wheeland is starting to show symptoms of the illness, too.

“Her pain has been increasing every day, she’s having problems breathing — shortness of breath,” Peter said.

Judie also expressed a feeling of helplessness.

“We’re trying to mourn our father, but It’s hard to mourn him while we promised we would take care of our mother and we’re not able to keep that promise right now,” she said.

“Really it’s out of our hands right now. This is everywhere.”

As of Thursday, Quebec has seen 216 deaths associated with the virus, with 106 of the victims having lived in long-term care facilities.

In his daily address, Quebec Premier François Legault acknowledged the current problems care homes and senior’s residences but tried to be reassuring.

“I know there’s a lot of concern about senior’s residences at the moment, but I don’t want Quebecers to think the situation is critical everywhere,” he said.

“We are concentrating a lot of our energy on CHSLDs long-term care facilities where people are dying.”

Legault added the province is keeping a close eye on the situation in six facilities where the situation is deemed critical, including the CHLSD in LaSalle, where Kenneth Wheeland lived. There have been seven fatalities there so far.

With new testing protocols being implemented, Connie Wheeland was scheduled to be tested Thursday. Waiting for the results, her family says, is nerve-wracking.

“I’ve lost one parent to COVID-19 as it is,” said Peter. “We’ll deal with it when it comes.”

The hope is Connie will get the care she needs, no matter the results.

“These people have been on the planet for 60, 70, 80 years. They’ve contributed a lot to Quebec society. You know, I think we owe them,” said Peter.

Source: Read Full Article