Ontario long-term care homes under fire for meals fed to residents

A split image shows the meal served at an unidentified long-term care home in Ontario as seen on Twitter, and a family meeting through the window on Mother's Day at another Ontario long-term care home. (Twitter/Getty)

Ontario long-term care homes are under fire after Dr. Vivian Stamatopoulos, an Ontario long-term care (LTC) researcher and advocate tweeted a photo of a meal that was served to a LTC resident.

The tweet is trending under the hashtag #OntarioLTCFails as support is pouring in for long-term care residents and families, and many other Ontarians have begun to share their experiences, too.

Stamatopoulos says the family is scared to go public out of fear of reprisal. The only fact shared about the home was that it is a for-profit home in the Windsor area.

Ontario LTC homes have been under fire since last year following the military report of the disturbing living conditions in the homes.

“Sadly this is not the first time that long-term care families have shared photos of abhorrent conditions in some long-term care homes across the province,” Stamatopoulos said to Yahoo Canada.

“Whether it be food, insect, PPE or care-related, what has become abundantly clear is that a lack of proper oversight combined with ineffective penalties for noncompliance has resulted in a host of problems most painfully documented in the infamous armed forces reports from the first wave.”

As COVID-19 cases increase, advocates say emergency intervention and military help is needed more than ever to save lives.

“We have A DOZEN + HOMES WITH 150+ cases that need help! We need to get CAF [Canadian Armed Forces] teams into these homes STAT AS AN EMERGENCY RESPONSE!”, stated Stamatopoulos in a tweet.

“This is why I’ve called for military teams. Did you know that the CAF teams are skilled healthcare teams made up of: 2 Registered Nurses + 12 Medical Technicians + general duties personnel?”

Ontarians share pictures of meals served by long-term care homes to the residents:

According to the Ministry of Long Term Care’s annual report, LTC homes reported over 660 incidents regarding food and nutrition from Jan. 2018 to May 2019. The audit found that LTC homes were not providing sufficient and high-quality food and nutrition to the residents.

The report not only found that residents were not being fed proper food, they were waiting an average 24 to 43 minutes for it because staff were busy with other responsibilities or not reporting to work.

Furthermore, in three of the five homes where a detailed analysis was conducted, some of the food used for meals was expired.

According to the report, residents were being fed food and drinks that contain high sugar, high sodium, or not enough fibre which does not comply with the government’s current Dietary Reference Intakes.

The report highlighted the lack of staff, assistance, and individual care plans is putting residents at a high nutritional risk.