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in the Media

AM 640 News

COVID-19 Ageism

(at 31.47 mark) "During the first part of the first wave there was a focus on helping seniors in the community, whether they needed help with groceries or prescriptions. As we've become more used to COVID-19, those services have started to dry up. Seniors now face increased isolation and decreased resources," says Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge.

Investment Executive

How to avoid abuse by PoAs for property

“Check with the law society or legal counsel to see if changes have been put in place because of Covid-19, so [PoAs] could be executed remotely,” said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO at CanAge. Also, some jurisdictions don’t require a lawyer to create a PoA, she said.

The Toronto Star

People 60 and older make up 96% of COVID-19 deaths in Ontario. Here’s why one advocate calls it ‘ageism in action’

About 92 per cent of people 60 and older live in the community rather than congregate settings in Canada, said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge. “I think what we’re seeing is ageism in action, that there’s been a sense that it’s all right that seniors die of COVID-19,” Tamblyn Watts said.

The Globe & Mail

Alberta’s COVID-19 outbreak forces closure of over 500 continuing care beds

Laura Tamblyn Watts is the chief executive of CanAge, which advocates for seniors nationally. Alberta’s situation, she said, underscores how problems in the long-term care system can threaten to topple other parts of the health care system. “We know that the consequences are lives lost, families ruined, and a health care system that becomes broken," she said.

The Toronto Star

‘An attractive investment:’ As private equity scoops up Ontario nursing homes, there are concerns about whether profit-driven facilities can best care for fragile seniors

“The issue that we have to grapple with is, what are we designing long-term care to achieve?” said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of national seniors’ organization CanAge. “You can’t blame private equity for doing what private equity does, which is squeeze every single dollar out of what they invest. But that is not what we want for residents in long-term care. And that is the critical problem.”

CTV News

Extendicare says delays in getting test results contributed to COVID-19 outbreak at Starwood

Laura Tamblyn Watts, the CEO of CanAge, says the provincial government needs to do more to protect the residents and staff of Ontario's long-term care homes. Tamblyn Watts points to promises made by the Ontario government to protect long-term care homes that aren't backed up by budget dollars. "When the budget came out quite recently, we were all looking to see where those infrastructure and staffing investments were going to be coming form. They government has been talking about four hours of care and then no money was actually allocated to it in the budget," she said.

The Toronto Star

Seniors' advocates want national standards for care as COVID-19 surges

The ongoing death toll and dire impacts on seniors in residential care during the pandemic are the legacy of historical and well-documented but unaddressed issues, said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, a national seniors' advocacy group. “We know a lot of the problems that have plagued our response to COVID-19 are long-standing issues,” said Tamblyn Watts


Seniors deserve a life worth living during the COVID-19 pandemic

“We are seeing a real trend of people leaving retirement homes because they don’t want to be under those heavy restrictions,” Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of the seniors advocacy group CanAge, tells Christina Frangou. “Home care shouldn’t be something off to the side,” says Tamblyn Watts. “It is the cheapest, most effective and most desired form of seniors care.”


Strict COVID-19 protocols are leaving seniors lonely, depressed and wondering: Is it worth it?

Laura Tamblyn Watts, the CEO of CanAge, a national association that advocates for the elderly, worries that the winter ahead will be very difficult for Canada’s seniors. “We’re really hearing from older adults about their quality of life. It’s combined with a question of, ‘Will I ever get another chance to do this again?’ ” says Tamblyn Watts.


When it comes to pulling a loved one out of long-term care, there's no easy answer

Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of the seniors advocacy group CanAge, said more home care supports may be needed as people hesitate to accept admission to long-term care and retirement homes. "In the second wave, we're not seeing as many people concerned about pulling loved ones out. What we're seeing is people don't want to put loved ones — who may have been waiting on lists for years — into care to begin with," she said.

Canada's National Observer

Relatives, advocates worry COVID-19 second wave will shut the door on visiting loved ones

What we’re seeing across Canada is the hugely detrimental impacts of visitor restrictions,” Tamblyn Watts said. “There’s increased depression, despondency and increased loneliness. In some cases, a willingness to stop treatments, or a lack of interest in many aspects of life. But (the impacts) are also physical and measurable,” Tamblyn Watts said, noting physiological effects include decreased physical mobility and cognitive declines.


Pulled from care homes during pandemic, these seniors thrived — highlighting 'urgent' need for change: expert

And while Manitoba now seems to be taking steps to address some of its more glaring issues within long-term care, it remains to be seen whether those efforts will be adequate, said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, a national seniors' advocacy group. "Do I believe that the Manitoba government, over the course of this first wave and now entering the second wave, knows the ingredients in the recipe for change? I do. The question is: will they actually move quickly enough?" she said.

The Globe and Mail

Ontario unveils budget with record deficit fuelled by pandemic

Laura Tamblyn-Watts, chief executive officer of CanAge, a national seniors advocacy organization, said she was surprised by the lack of details on the government’s promise to increase direct care in nursing homes. She said the government has had months to recruit and train people to work in long-term care, as British Columbia has done, or issue a broad call for mass hiring as seen in Quebec. “This government has dragged its feet,” Ms. Tamblyn-Watts said.

My Campbell River Now

MP Rachel Blaney hosts zoom meeting on seniors advocacy

North Island-Powell River MP, Rachel Blaney, is set to host a zoom meeting spotlighting seniors advocacy. Blaney will be joined by BC Seniors’ Advocate Isobel Mackenzie and CanAge President and CEO Laura Tamblyn Watts.

Huffington Post Canada

Staff Shortages A ‘Systemic Issue’ At Hard-Hit Ottawa Care Home: Families

Laura Tamblyn Watts, the CEO of seniors’ advocacy organization CanAge, said the confinement of residents in their rooms “simply can never happen again.” To ensure it doesn’t, essential caregiver policies are critical, she said. Tamblyn Watts also said Ontario’s temporary wage increase for long-term care staff — $3 per hour for about 50,000 eligible workers — is a positive step, but “really only a drop in the bucket” of what is needed given staff are likely exhausted and temporary summer staff have moved on.

CBC News

Toronto doctors slam Manitoba's health minister for saying care home deaths are unavoidable

Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, Canada's national seniors' advocacy group tweeted her dismay on Tuesday evening. "These deaths are absolutely avoidable. Change is needed now," wrote Tamblyn Watts, who also teaches a course in law and aging at the University of Toronto

The Evan Solomon Show on CFRA Talk Radio

LTC homes could be forced to close, can't get insurance

At the 2:30 mark, CanAge CEO Laura Tamblyn Watts outlines the danger of insurance companies not covering infection control. These policies are coming up for renewal within months. What happens if these facilities close?

City TV News

Long-term care homes in jeopardy as insurance companies not covering infections in 2021: advocate

"Insurers of long-term care homes will cease insuring infectious spread in 2021. That means that long-term care homes will not be able to legally operate unless they find some way of getting insurance," says Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge.

OMNY FM On Point with Alex Pierson

Is there an iron ring around long-term care, or are they just being choked?

At 21:20 mark. "In the case of long-term care, you need to have liability coverage in order to operate - but they aren't going to get it. Governments will have to provide a solution," warns Laura Tamblyn Watts of CanAge.

Brampton Guardian

Ontario law would make it harder to sue over COVID-19

“What should not be protected is the terrible type of incidents that we saw detailed in the military medical report as gross negligence and even, potentially, could be criminal neglect,” said Tamblyn Watts.

CTV News

Red Cross Heading into Nursing Homes

"This says that staffing levels are more strained than they've ever been. We were short-staffed going into COVID but over the summer there was help from student nurses and student doctors. But they've all gone back to school. The Red Cross is a welcome help, but it's not a solution," according to CanAge CEO Laura Tamblyn Watts.

CTV News

Standardized care in long-term care homes

"We look forward to seeing more rapid testing to allow visitations in and out of the homes but on the whole we are not prepared for the second wave," reports Laura Tamblyn Watts, CanAge CEO.

CTV News

Ontario Patient Ombuds Issues Warning

This captures in one report the voices we haven't heard before - the residents' voices, the families' voices - saying how worried they have been about the policies and practices in long-term care. What's new about it is that it also captures staff voices. One recommendation is to provide some whistleblower protection for those who speak out," says Laura Tamblyn Watts, CanAge CEO.

Kitchener Today

October 1st is National Seniors Day

CEO of CanAge, Laura Tamblyn Watts, says this Seniors Day is a little different because of the pandemic.
"Given COVID-19, it's also an important day to pause and reflect and think about how we can do things better for our older people."

CBC News

No time to spare as long-term care homes brace for another wave of COVID-19

Our staffing shortages in long-term care are more dire than ever.

Breakfast Television Vancouver

Election issues facing B.C. seniors

What should party leaders be promising seniors ahead of the provincial election? We check in with Canage's Laura Tamblyn Watts.

Speech from the Throne promises wins for Canadian seniors

CanAge welcomes announcements made in yesterday’s Speech from the Throne, and the government’s commitments to older Canadians. We especially applaud proposed national standards for the long-term-care sector across the country, recognition of the need to have elder abuse and neglect included in the criminal code, a new Canadian disability benefit, and acceleration of universal pharmacare. “Older adults have been waiting for improvements particularly in LTC residences; unfortunately it took COVID-19 and hundreds of deaths to get federal attention,” says Laura Tamblyn Watts, CanAge president and CEO. Improvements were also proposed to tax filing, more support for personal support workers, and immigration to the aged care sector.

CTV News

Liberals commit to improve care for seniors

Our staffing shortages in long-term care are less than ever before. The emergency money which didn't cover what was needed has run out. On top of that we're entering flu and viral pneumonia season, and action needs to be taken.

Investment Executive

Support lacking for investor advocates

Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of seniors’ advocacy group CanAge Inc. and an independent director of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada’s (IIROC) board, says having consumer and investor advocates represented at the “highest level” of industry regulators helps promote “change from within” — but there’s “very limited support for change from without.”

CTV News

COVID Outbreak in Ottawa Long-term Care Home

Advocates want tighter controls on PPE and staffing.

The Lawyer's Daily

Tackling aging essential to transform dementia care

“Canadians are fed up with the constitutional finger at the expense of life” wrote Laura Tamblyn Watts, a lawyer and CEO of CanAge, a national organization advocating for the elderly. Long-term care is the responsibility of all governments and every level has failed seniors, she said.

Kitchener Today

Ontario NDP table essential caregivers' bill

The bill is drawing support from a national seniors' advocacy group. "We're very concerned that essential family caregiving may get taken and reduced back," said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge. "So as a result, we're supportive of any innitiative that ensures that older people in long-term care get those essential family visits that they need."

The Globe & Mail

Ontario long-term care commission still deciding whether to hold public hearings, drawing concerns

Laura Tamblyn Watts, chief executive officer of CanAge, a national seniors advocacy organization, said doing the commission’s work behind closed doors would further undermine the public’s already low confidence in Ontario’s long-term care system. Ms. Tamblyn Watts also urged the provincial government to ensure the commission’s work is transparent and to provide financial support to non-profit organizations so they can participate.

The Toronto Star

Canada’s largest private retirement home operator wants to stop quarantining new residents — but experts say that could put seniors at risk

“Retirement homes have become something they were not designed to be. They’ve become a de facto substitute for long-term care, because of the consistent shortage of long-term-care beds. ... Functionally, they’ve become equivalent,” said Watts.

Winnipeg Free Press

High-dose flu shot should be accessible to all seniors

According to CanAge, a non-profit organization that advocates for issues that matter to Canadian seniors, it can cost upwards of $16,000 to pay for hospitalization due to viral pneumonia, but a high-dose flu vaccine costs the government just $50. It makes more sense for us to invest in health prevention now for seniors.

St. Albert Today

"Tremendous increase" in reports of elder abuse: SAIF

"On a usual day, one in five older Canadians are subject to elder abuse. We are seeing a tenfold increase in elder abuse across the community," Laura Tamblyn-Watts, the CEO of national seniors advocacy group CanAge, told CTV News.

CFRA Ottawa

Laura Tamblyn Watts on CFRA Ottawa's Kristy Cameron Show

Family caregivers allowed back into long-term residences.

CBC News

As officials brace for more people to get COVID-19 in the weeks ahead, cases are way down in long-term care homes.

Experts say what needs to happen to prevent a resurgence.

The Toronto Star

Improper use of PPE. Medicine to the wrong patient. Injuries from falls. A look at the problems inside Orchard Villa as COVID-19 deaths climbed

“What we’ve seen with COIVD is not so much a surprise but just an illumination of the problems in the system that we always knew were there. The question is: will we now actually fix it?”

Our Windsor Today

Who is left behind in a cashless society?

“What it led to was humiliation and a feeling like they don’t belong in society any more,” she said, adding that the combination of some retailers going cashless and the closing of bank branches have made things particularly difficult for some seniors.

The Toronto Star

Should long-term-care homes be ‘old-person storage’ or places to live? New construction in Ontario could hold the answer

“What is difficult to understand, is how large for-profit corporations that provide long-term care are receiving government subsidies and paying out substantial dividends, while at the same time claiming they are underfunded and need protection from class action lawsuits due to negligence during COVID,” Tamblyn Watts said.

The Pointer

Proposal for seniors apartment towers labelled an "abomination" by local residents

"There are epidemics every single year and we need to make sure we are building new homes to reduce their impact," Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, told the Pointer.

Global News Radio

Ontario long-term care commission to deliver report by end of April

Laura Tamblyn Watts, President and CEO of CanAge, speaks to Stafford and Supriya about long-term care.

The Toronto Star

Terms for Ontario’s commission on nursing homes prompt renewed calls for public inquiry

Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, a seniors’ advocacy group, said the trend in long-term care has been shifting to “a person-centred, emotion-focused model” of care. “We hope the appointment of a hospital CEO to the commission does not guide the work back to a medical model of long-term care,” Tamblyn Watts said in reference to commission member Dr. Jack Kitts, the recently retired chief executive of the Ottawa Hospital.


PSW speaks out about COVID-19 long-term care home devastation

As the Ford government unveils details of the independent commission into the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care homes, a personal support worker speaks out about some of the more shocking conditions in these institutions.

The Kingston Whig Standard

Isolation project creates connections

“This type of program, where you have a trusted group is a wonderful way of creating inter-generational supports,” Tamblyn Watts said. “We know that inter-generational work is a huge part of our solutions and we’re excited to support the program.”

CBC News

Ontario nurse under investigation after anti-vax, COVID conspiracy social media posts

Laura Tamblyn Watts, a lawyer and the CEO of Canage, Canada's national advocacy centre for seniors, said having provincial inspectors who believe in evidence-based science is crucial in reviving an underfunded, understaffed and largely broken system.

Kitchener Today

LTC visitors important for residents' mental health: CanAge

Long-term care homes not experiencing an outbreak can now open up to a limited amount of visitors -- and this could help secure the mental wellbeing of seniors living in those care facilities. That's according to the CEO of CanAge, Laura Tamblyn Watts, who says it is important to allow LTCs to open up to more than one visitor if the care facility is not experiencing an active outbreak.

Kingston Whig Standard

Panel led by Philpott examines aging and COVID-19

Considering long-term care homes around the world and that many long-term care homes in Canada are maintained at an out-dated 1972 standard, Puxty gave Canadian homes a score of 7/10. Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, gave them a failing grade. “We’ve known what the challenges have been for many years… what we haven’t done is actually taken the steps forward to make the change,” Tamblyn said.

Breakfast Television Vancouver

Staffing issues in BC long-term care homes

BC care homes looking to recruit laid-off hospitality workers. Laura Tamblyn Watts sees positive trends.

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