County residents create long-term care coalition

Following the COVID-19 outbreak at a nursing home in the City of Kawartha Lakes and the roof leak and subsequent months-long evacuation of Highland Wood in Haliburton, a group of concerned citizens has come together to advocate for change in the sector.

The Haliburton-CKL Long-Term Care Coalition is seeking action to improve living standards for residents of long-term care homes and improving working conditions for staff, with a resident-centred approach. They are also advocating that new nursing homes be public, not private, facilities.

“Every publicly funded dollar and every dollar paid by the residents of long-term care should go to their care, not to profit corporate entities and their shareholders,” long-term care advocate Brigitte Gebauer said in a media release from the coalition. Her mother lives in long-term care in Haliburton and has been a resident of both for-profit and not-for-profit nursing homes.

She is advocating for better food, more stimulating environments, more direct care and updated facilities. “That is what human beings nearing the end of their lives deserve,” she said.

A launch event for the coalition will be held in the coming weeks and the group is currently looking at how to move forward with their goals, coordinating with other groups and organized labour.

Those who would like to join the group can contact Bonnie Roe at 705-286-2414 or email hckllongtermcarecoalition@gmail.com. Join the coalition’s Facebook group by searching Haliburton-CKL Long-Term Care Coalition.
Staff