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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.

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.

Global National News

Ontario Premier Doug Ford's nearly $2 billion investment in long-term care

"The buildings themselves really need significant investment," says Laura Tamblyn Watts, president and CEO of CanAge, the national seniors' advocacy organization.

CTV News

Ontario invests in long-term care homes

CanAge President and CEO shares commentary about new beds and conditions in long-term residences.

CFRA Ottawa Today

‘How many beds in what amount of time? That’s still unclear’: Province announces $1.7 billion to modernize long-term care homes with new beds, mandatory air conditioning

Laura Tamblyn Watts, the CEO of CanAge, tells Kristy Cameron this is good news. However, she adds there are still questions about timelines.

CBC News

Heat wave shows plan needed 'right now' to keep care homes cool

"I think a lot of Canadians have a very hard time reconciling the tens of millions of dollars of profits that are given out quarterly, with the reality of very frail, vulnerable seniors in isolation, sweltering in their rooms in excess of 30 degrees," said Laura Tamblyn Watts.

CBC News

Heat wave shows plan needed 'right now' to keep care homes cool

Given the evolving research around how COVID-19 spreads, it's not clear if temporary solutions are safe, Tamblyn Watts said. "We are hearing significant confusion from long-term care homes, and from families and residents getting inconsistent information about whether fans and certain types of temporary air conditioning units can be used or not because of COVID concerns," she said.

The Toronto Star

Seniors who survived COVID now at risk from lack of air-conditioning in long-term care homes

The COVID-19 pandemic has only made the situation more dangerous for residents living in homes without air-conditioning, said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, a seniors advocacy organization. Some care homes have air-conditioning in common rooms where residents could previously spend most of their days to stay cool, she said. But the pandemic — and the infection control protocols that came with it — changed all that.


Shareholders at Ontario’s Top Private Nursing Homes Could Take Home $59 Million Following COVID-19 Deaths

“The system in Canada needs a complete overhaul,” University of Toronto social work professor Laura Tamblyn Watts told PressProgress, pointing to a need for “national standards and licensing to ensure that Canadian seniors get there care they deserve.”

“Most Canadians would be shocked to see the profits and dividends paid out in the millions quarterly when the homes themselves and the seniors who live there need this investment. Badly.”

CBC The Current (13:25 mark)

Reuniting long-term care home residents with their families.

Family members share their stories. CanAge CEO Laura Tamblyn Watts provides commentary.

The Toronto Star

The brutal blow that pandemic isolation has dealt residents of long-term care residences

“Having homes share the impact of isolation really brings to light how important it is to move to emotion-focused care in long-term care homes in Canada,” Watts added. “Only through tracking things like mood, things like social connection, can we take care of the whole person, not just their physical well-being.”

CTV News

Study on Long-Term Care Deaths

"What's really stark is that 18% of all infections were in long-term care, but 81% of all deaths. If that isn't an indictment, I don't know what is," says Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge.

CBC News

Early lockdown key to avoiding deadly nursing home outbreaks, epidemiologist says

Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of the seniors' advocacy organization CanAge, agrees that homes should be proactive when planning for a possible resurgence of coronavirus cases. But she said they should also be more flexible when it comes to allowing visitors. "We cannot lock people up for three months at a time and keep them from family and friends," Tamblyn Watts said. "We need to make sure that we have a more nuanced approach."

CBC News

Family raises questions about lack of inspections at Manitoba care homes following senior's death

"It's shocking to think that in the time of COVID-19, in the time of a pandemic where we know that residents are at significantly increased risk either because of outbreak or because of the risk of outbreak, no inspections are actually happening," Watts said.

Transatlantic Agency Blog

We are excited to welcome Laura Tamblyn Watts to Transatlantic Agency!

Your parents probably read a few books to figure out how to take care of you. Now it’s your turn to take care of them. In the great role reversal of your lifetime, THE 3AM GUIDE TO YOUR AGING PARENTS is your new WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING for taking care of your aging parents! Hilarious, practical and helpful, Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge and a leading expert on aging and advocacy for seniors, guides you through the questions and conundrums that keep everyone with aging parents awake at night.


Un verrouillage précoce est essentiel pour éviter les épidémies meurtrières dans les maisons de soins infirmiers, selon un épidémiologiste

Laura Tamblyn Watts, PDG de l'organisation de défense des personnes âgées CanAge, convient que les maisons devraient être proactives lors de la planification d'une éventuelle résurgence de cas de coronavirus. Mais elle a dit qu'ils devraient également être plus flexibles lorsqu'il s'agit d'autoriser les visiteurs.

"Nous ne pouvons pas enfermer les gens pendant trois mois à la fois et les garder de la famille et des amis", a déclaré Tamblyn Watts. "Nous devons nous assurer d'avoir une approche plus nuancée."

CTV News

Advocates demand family caregivers be given access to long-term care homes

“We didn’t have a good strategy for how to have a maintained lockdown situation and we should have. And we’re going to need one, because COVID-19 is going to be with us for 18 to 24 months and maybe on an ongoing basis,” CanAge CEO Laura Tamblyn Watts told by phone Tuesday. “We have been talking to governments across the country advocating for this and helping to develop this type of programming.”

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University of Toronto

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