On Sunday, one of the hottest days of the year in southern Ontario, Nick Puopolo sweated in his mother’s long-term care room, feeding her ice cream and helping her sip water as two fans whirled with little effect.
Her private room at the for-profit long-term care home Woodbridge Vista Care Community — one of Ontario’s long-term care homes hardest hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic — does not have air conditioning. Only the common areas do, but Savirea, 85, a COVID-19 survivor, is bedridden and never gets relief from the heat, Puopolo said.
Puopolo was allowed to visit only because staff believed his mother was nearing the end of her life. He recorded the temperature in her room at 27 C. By the nurse’s station, he said the temperature was 26 C.
He is afraid his mother will suffer from potentially fatal dehydration — she is in the same home where an elderly man died in late May of exhaustion not caused by COVID-19, but rather malnutrition. His family found him in a sweltering room without air conditioning, reported CBC News.
The high temperatures in Woodbridge Vista persist, capping off several “heart-wrenching” months that have destroyed any trust Puopolo said he had in Ontario’s long-term care system.
“It’s been one disappointment and complaint after another,” he told HuffPost Canada. “And nobody is taking responsibility.”
Watch: Doug Ford reacts to report on “disgusting” conditions in long-term care. Story continues below.
Ontario’s long-term care homes aren’t required to have air conditioning in residents’ rooms, but according to the legislation are supposed to keep temperatures below 22 C. Regardless, too-hot facilities are a persistent problem across the nursing home sector in Ontario.
After HuffPost Canada contacted Sienna Senior Living, which operates Woodbridge Vista, on Tuesday, spokesperson Natalie Gokchenian said the home is going to install 18 air conditioners the following day, although she did not specify...