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CBC News

2nd doses of Moderna vaccine headed to Windsor-Essex LTC homes as province changes Pfizer plan

"Ontario was very conservative with following the Pfizer recommendations to the letter and keeping the Pfizer vaccine in a minus 70 containment space which made transport to long-term care very difficult," said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, a national advocacy group for seniors. "Since then however, we have seen excellent evidence that it can be transported and that even one dose can be protective, so it seems that the evidence is allowing us to get the first shots into the arms of people sooner and that the Pfizer vaccine can go to long-term care."

City News

COVID-19 deaths in long-term care reveal need for home supports: advocates

Home care is the least expensive option for the government and the most preferred option for seniors, said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of national seniors advocacy group CanAge. Keeping someone in their home costs far less for government than funding a brick-and-mortar facility with full-time staff, Tamblyn Watts said.

The Toronto Star

Speeding up Ontario’s vaccine rollout could save the lives of more than 100 residents in long-term care, Doug Ford’s science panel says

Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, a national seniors’ advocacy organization, said Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout is “costing lives every day.” By not focusing on our most vulnerable seniors in long-term-care, we are losing parents, loved ones, and mentors every day,” she said. She added that the province must begin a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week vaccination campaign for long-term care residents and then vulnerable seniors in the community.

Global News

Seniors living independently feel ‘forgotten’ as others prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines

"They’re feeling abandoned, they’re feeling isolated, and we are being told very clearly what a high risk they are, and yet we are not being told clearly when that risk will be reduced," says CanAge CEO Laura Tamblyn Watts.

CTV News Barrie

One-on-One with Laura Tamblyn Watts

"The recipe is fairly clear. We do need mass hirings of staff like Quebec did, where they hired 10,000 support workers in the summer, and had more than half of them available by September," insists Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, the national seniors' advocacy organization.

Global News

Seniors living independently feel ‘forgotten’ as others prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines

“They’re feeling abandoned, they’re feeling isolated, and we are being told very clearly what a high risk they are, and yet we are not being told clearly when that risk will be reduced," according to CanAge CEO Laura Tamblyn Watts.

CTV News

Care home staff struggle to isolate dementia patients during COVID-19 outbreaks, experts say

“It's a significant problem in the time of COVID-19 and long-term care,” said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, a national seniors advocacy group. “It's also quite inhumane to be locking people up in their rooms. Older people with dementia in long-term care are not prisoners,” she added. “The good news is there are some things we can do to help support infection prevention and control while at the same time not isolating seniors exclusively in their rooms.”

The Toronto Star

Nine dead, more than 100 infected in ‘rapid’ COVID-19 outbreak at Barrie LTC home

Seniors advocate Laura Tamblyn Watts said the outbreak shows that Ontario didn’t make enough changes in the operation of long-term-care homes after the first wave of COVID-19 last spring. “We learned lessons, but most of them weren’t used,” said Watts, CEO of the advocacy group CanAge. Watts believes there were three key steps the provincial government should have taken.

The Toronto Star

Exhausted and at her limit, she put her mother in long-term care. She — and others — now regret making that decision

To a large extent, that has to do with poor planning and ageism, says Laura Tamblyn Watts, president and CEO of CanAge, a national seniors advocacy organization. “Canada has been unique in the OECD for not having a plan for aging and that’s not unique in a good way,” she says, referring to the 37-nation Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The Globe & Mail

LTC staff struggling to isolate dementia patients during COVID-19 outbreaks, experts say

“It’s a significant problem in the time of COVID-19 and long-term care,” said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, a national seniors advocacy group. “It’s also quite inhumane to be locking people up in their rooms. Older people with dementia in long-term care are not prisoners,” she added. “The good news is there are some things we can do to help support infection prevention and control while at the same time not isolating seniors exclusively in their rooms.”

The Toronto Star

‘It’s the seniors who suffer.’ 73 residents have died at Tendercare. Grieving families ask: Where’s the accountability?

The lack of accountability is an age-old practice in long-term care, said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, a national seniors’ advocacy group. “What we have seen here is a continuation of what we’ve seen for decades, which is finger pointing at someone else,” Tamblyn Watts said.

CTV News

Front-line doctor describes COVID-19 vaccination effort in Toronto long-term care homes

"We know that if it’s not ramped up rapidly, more people are going to die, everyday,” said CanAge CEO Laura Tamblyn Watts, a national advocacy group for seniors.

CTV News

Ontario care home outbreaks hit record high

"What we are seeing is an expansion of the virus, an increase in vulnerability, no real improvements in staffing, and the vaccine not getting into the arms of those who need it most."

CTV News

Health experts urging quicker vaccine rollout as COVID-19 cases surge, doses sit in freezers

“This is a vaccine problem, not really a logistics problems,” said Tamblyn Watts. “We have existing systems to put vaccine into people … Get public health involved, get doctors involved, get pharmacists involved. Don’t keep it so off to the side that people can’t get vaccinated.”

Canadian Parliamentary Access Channel

Green Party Holds Townhall Discussion about Long-Term Care

Green Party of Canada leader Annamie Paul, and Green MP Paul Manly (Nanaimo–Ladysmith, B.C.) take part in a virtual townhall discussion about the situation in long-term care facilities across Canada amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They are joined by various long-term care experts, including Laura Tamblyn Watts of CanAge. The participants also answer questions from reporters following the town hall.

Global News Radio

One-third of Ontario's long-term care homes have COVID-19 outbreaks

Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, joins Arlene Bynon to talk about why long-term care homes are in such a dire state and what needs to be done.

Global News

Critics call on Ontario government to reform long-term care

"That is the result of either a lack of prioritization or a lack of understanding, and it's hard to imagine how it could possibly be a lack of understanding," stated Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge.

The Toronto Star

These numbers reveal a worrying trend in Ontario long-term-care home deaths

“It’s not that we don’t know what needs to be done. And it’s not that we didn’t learn more about what works (and) what doesn’t work,” said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of seniors’ advocacy group CanAge. “The challenge has been the lag time in implementing those needed changes in Ontario — that has been fundamentally the problem.”

The Toronto Star

Our wishes for 2021: From the thrill of a crowd, to new respect, to speedy vaccine access for all

“My hope for 2021 is that this pandemic accomplishes the unprecedented: an end to ageism and the beginning of valuing seniors as equal citizens, deserving of dignity, respect and care. May 2021 be the year we finally transform long-term care to enrich and sustain both the body and the soul. It’s possible. We just have to do it.”

CTV News

COVID-19 and Long-Term Care Homes

"We need to move more quickly to get vaccines into long-term care. And rapid testing for anyone who works, lives, or visits in long-term care," says Laura Tamblyn Watts.

The Rob Snow Show

Ontario's vaccine rollout took a few days off over the Holidays, generating some reaction online.

CanAge CEO Laura Tamblyn Watts joins Rob to talk about the tragedy unfolding in at Scarborough's Tendercare seniors residence.

The Toronto Star

‘We’ve made them more vulnerable:’ They’re not seniors, but these overlooked residents of Ontario nursing homes have also been hit hard by COVID-19

“Because of lack of supports and attendant care services, in some cases persons with disabilities who would prefer to live in the community currently have to live in long-term-care homes,” said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of national seniors’ advocacy group, CanAge.

The Globe & Mail

Urgent plea for doctors goes out at Toronto-area nursing home hit by COVID-19

Laura Tamblyn Watts, chief executive officer of CanAge, a national seniors’ advocacy organization, said a broader system is needed for helping homes beyond the local hospital to prevent massive outbreaks, including a rapid-response team that can go in immediately. “This sector has been abandoned by the government," Ms. Tamblyn Watts said.

CFRA Radio Ottawa

New vaccine a "game changer"

CanAge CEO Laura Tamblyn Watts tells Kristy Cameron that today's approval of the Moderna vaccine is a "game changer" for long-term care residents.

Global News

How COVID-19 has changed the way families think about long-term care in Ontario

Tamblyn Watts said it’s important to limit general visits into nursing homes to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, but that essential family caregivers should be allowed into facilities and provided with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), training and support.

The Philanthropist

Long-term care and second-wave isolation

With the second wave in full swing and winter on its way, seniors, especially those in long-term care (LTC), face a “retreat into isolation,” according to a recent article in Maclean’s. Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, fears for their well-being.

CPAC

Long-term care and the fall economic statement

"It's a good day for seniors. We're really starting to see significant investment in long-term care," says Laura Tamblyn Watts.

CTV News

Power Play: Liberals commit $1B to long-term care

Laura Tamblyn-Watts from CanAge and NDP National Director Anne McGrath discuss the accountability measures that come with the $1B pledge.

Global News

Fear, stress factors in staffing shortages at Ontario’s long-term care homes amid COVID-19 crisis

Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge – Canada’s National Seniors advocacy organization, says one of the reasons LTCs were able to get by with existing staff prior to the pandemic was help from families who provided additional care. During the onset of the pandemic in March, some homes didn’t allow family members to visit loved ones as a precaution to prevent the spread of the virus. “So we have cases of people who were essentially starving to death because either they were not being fed or they weren’t getting the cues to eat that you would ordinarily get by sitting together,” Tamblyn Watts said.

QP Briefing

Organization advocating for older Canadians calls for removal of minister of long-term care from role

"The problems in long-term care are not solely found in Ontario, but exist across the country. Scapegoating individual government officials is not the way to improve seniors’ lives," Tamblyn Watts said. "Holding governments to account to make real change with government investment is CanAge's approach instead." She added that "personal attacks on government officials do not make seniors’ lives better."

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.

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.

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.

Advisor's Edge

Get clear about your client’s PoA 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. She also noted that “essential family caregivers” can visit long-term care facilities, which in some jurisdictions include substitute decision makers.

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.

Maclean's

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.”

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

Maclean's

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.

CBC

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.

CBC

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.

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University of Toronto


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