Sask. NDP say more needs to be done to keep seniors safe during second wave

The Saskatchewan NDP called on the provincial government to take action to prevent COVID-19 from running rampant in Saskatchewan’s Long-Term Care Homes.

NDP Leader Ryan Meili says the modelling released by the government Thursday is frightening for everyone, especially seniors.

“One of the areas of great concern, as we’ve seen around the country and around the world, is seniors, the population that’s at highest risk,” said Meili. “In particular those most-vulnerable seniors who are in long-term care, or who have other underlying health problems that make them a greater risk.”

Newly appointed Seniors Critic Matt Love says some of the province’s COVID-19 Contingency Fund needs to go to making sure seniors are safe.

“We’re calling for that funding to be used specifically for staffing in long-term and home care to make sure that seniors are able to stay in their homes safely for as long as possible, especially right now,” said Love.

Some other things the NDP is calling for include regular updates on outbreaks, a review of the state of long-term care in the province, an implementation of an emergency protocol to guarantee minimum care standards are met, and ways to address the mental heath needs of seniors.

Meili says the province has been very lucky so far when it comes to outbreaks in long-term care homes, adding the more cases rise, the more staff will be needed.

“As we start the levels of community transmission rising, those concerns are very real,” said Meili. “We know that in long-term care in Saskatchewan, the caregiver to resident ratio isn’t what it should be, that the care, even within the government’s own reports has bee described as inadequate. If there’s ever a time to do this, it’s now.”

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