COVID-19 exposed alleged abuses of Senior Citizens in Retirement Homes

Here is just one of many examples.

31 May 2020 in Ontario, Canada, a sad series of events became known to the public following an increasing number of deaths at a seniors’ home

In Ontario province of Canada, the Woodbridge Vista Care Community confirmed 31 May 2020 that 18 residents were taken to hospital on a day earlier.  A company by the name of *Sienna Senior Living Inc. runs this 224-bed facility in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada.

*Sienna Senior Living, according to FPMag research is 2063414 Investment LP operating as Leisureworld Caregiving Centres operating as Sienna Senior Living (Inc.?).

In Ontario, a province of Canada, its Premier Douglas Ford called for Canadian Armed Forces assistance under its Operation Laser project. The request applied to five seniors’ homes in Ontario.

A 26 May report citing inadequate care as an issue of grave concern prompted Premier Ford to launch a formal investigation. That was not soon enough to save lives at Woodbridge Vista Care Community which had not been part of the April 2020 request for military medical assistance.

by Sharon Santiago

“These residents were transferred from Woodbridge Vista Care Community as the level of care required for them exceeded that provided at a long-term care home,” Natalie Gokchenian, spokesperson for Sienna Senior Living Inc., said in an email to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation which reported the matter  31 May 2020 4:46 PM ET.

  • 5 June 2020, the Ontario government issued a statement saying that it had appointed William Osler Health System as interim manager of Woodbridge Vista Care Community.
Woodbridge Vista Care Community 5400 Steeles Ave W, Woodbridge, ON, Canada

Woodbridge Vista Care Community 5400 Steeles Ave W, Woodbridge, ON, Canada Photo Credit: Google Maps Photo Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto FPMag

  • 6 June 2020  the 224-bed home had recorded 142 cases of COVID-19 including 102 residents and 40 staff — with 22 deaths attributed to the virus.

  • 7  June 2020, a week later, the Ontario, Canada Ministry of Long-Term Care said the Canadian Armed Forces would be at the Woodbridge Vista Care Community to do an assessment.

“We are grateful for CAF’s continued support, and we will have more news to share about next steps in the coming days… Long-term care homes determined to be the highest priority for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) deployment were those that have the most acute staffing challenges leading to poor resident outcomes,” noted the Ministry of Long-Term Care statement.

7 June 2020 Canadian Forces Medical Team arrives at Woodbridge Vista Care Community 5400 Steeles Ave W, Woodbridge, ON, Canada

It was not until June 7 that the Canadian Forces was requested for Woodbridge Vista Care Community.  Canadian Forces Medical Team arrives at Woodbridge Vista Care Community 5400 Steeles Ave W, Woodbridge, ON, Canada

12 June 2020, the president and CEO of Sienna Senior Living, Lois Cormack, resigned from her position.

On 15 June, in a statement published by their legal counsel,  dozens of families of residents at ‘Woodbridge Vista’  announced that their loved ones died. The deaths were allegedly as a result of contracting COVID-19 and related illnesses and neglect.”
According to the class statement:

“One of the representative plaintiffs is Lucia Fracassi. Lucia’s mother, Carmela Colalillo, was a resident at Woodbridge Vista. Carmela died while residing at Woodbridge Vista on May 25, 2020.

“Another representative plaintiff is Carmela Bilotta (“Ms. Bilotta”), who is represented by her son John Bilotta. Mrs. Bilotta was a resident at Woodbridge Vista until she was suddenly transported to hospital with 18 other residents on May 31, 2020 after contracting COVID-19.

“During a virtual meeting with families of Woodbridge Vista residents on June 3, 2019, Sienna’s Executive Vice President of Operations, Joanne Dykeman, made disparaging and mocking comments about Woodbridge Vista residents and their family members. On June 4, 2020, Ms. Dykeman was dismissed from her employment.

Woodbridge Vista Care Community 5400 Steeles Ave W, Woodbridge, ON L4L 9S1, Canada

Woodbridge Vista Care Community 5400 Steeles Ave W, Woodbridge, ON L4L 9S1, Canada source: Google Maps

Letter to Woodbridge Vista-Families 06-04-2020 (Signed)

Feminine-Perspective Magazine

PDF Version: Letter-to-Woodbridge-Vista-Families-06042020-Signed

15 June 2020 in a statement, legal counsel for a class action now launched said the class seeks “compensation for their tragic losses. In addition, they support the proposed independent commission into Ontario’s long-term care system, which they hope will result in meaningful change to ensure that a tragedy like this is never repeated in Ontario’s vulnerable long-term care population.”

Allegations include:

  • Failure to adhere to public health measures, including physical distancing between residents infected with COVID-19 and residents who were not infected with COVID-19.
  • Failure to conduct visitor and staff screening.
  • Failure to ensure residents received three meals a day and were properly hydrated.
  • Failure to implement a proper infection prevention and control program.
  • Failure to properly train their staff and hire adequate staff.
  • Failure to provide visitors or staff with proper personal protective equipment.
Some "Google Reviews" raise issues consistent with inspection reports

Some “Google Reviews” raise issues consistent with inspection reports. Photo Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto FPMag

FPMag research indicates a history of dozens of complaints and critical issues reported under  the Ontario province Long-Term Care Homes Act (2007).

In just the past 17 months:

  1. Critical Incident Inspection May 26, 2020
  2. Complaints Inspection Feb 24, 2020
  3. Critical Incident Inspection Feb 24, 2020
  4. Critical Incident Inspection Oct 31, 2019
  5. Critical Incident Inspection Jun 12, 2019
  6. Critical Incident Inspection May 22, 2019
  7. Complaints Inspection May 10, 2019
  8. Complaints Inspection Jan 22, 2019
  9. Critical Incident Inspection with Order(s) of the Inspector Jan 22, 2019
  10. Complaints Inspection Jan 14, 2019

Critical Incident Inspection May 26, 2020

  • Inspection of 26 May number 2020_766500_0005
  • Licensed: 2063414 Ontario Limited as General Partner of 2063414 Investment LP
    302 Town Centre Blvd. Suite 300 Markham ON L3R 0E8 Canada
  • Licensed for: Woodbridge Vista Care Community
    5400 Steeles Avenue West Woodbridge ON L4L 9S1 Canada
  • Finding by inspector: Nital Sheth (Badge Number 500)
  • Findings: Non-compliance with requirements under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 (LTCHA) was found. (a requirement under the LTCHA includes the requirements contained in the items listed in the definition of “requirement under this Act” in subsection 2(1) of the LTCHA).

“Most heart-wrenching report I have ever read in my entire life,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford, referring to the Canadian Forces medical report about general conditions at Ontario seniors’ homes.

The Woodbridge facility is not in the list of facilities Ontario wanted inspected in April 2020. Why? FPMag awaits that answer.

Referring to:
  • LTCF Eatonville Care Centre
  • LTCF Hawthorne Place Care Centre
  • LTCF Orchard Villa
  • LTCF Altamont
  • LTCF Holland Christian Grace Manor

This is a developing story. Watch FPMag for updates.

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1. Sir, as auth at Ref A and directed at Ref B, JTFC has employed Augmented Civilian Care
(ACC) teams, since 28 Apr 20, in five Province of Ontario-prioritized Long Term Care Facilities
(LTCF) that were in urgent and immediate need of personnel to provide humanitarian relief and
medical support.
2. Since arrival, and with the benefit of two weeks of observation, CAF ACC have
identified a number of medical professional and technical issues present at the five LTCF. From
a command and medical perspective, challenges were expected at these facilities given the severe
deficiencies and shortfalls that existed/exist at the provincially-prioritized assignments; the CAF
was meant to go to locations with the greatest need of our support. This is a reflection of the
conditions at those distressed locations. Consequently, issues and challenges have been collated
and consolidated in medical reporting in the key areas of Standards and Quality of Medical Care.
Annexes provide detail by individual LTCF. The purpose of this letter is to ensure that these
observations do not go unnoticed by our chain of command, the Province of Ontario, and most
importantly at the individual LTCF where efforts are currently underway in an open, transparent
and collaborative manner at the local level between each LTCF and ACC to aid in recovery by
addressing the specific areas of observation.
3. Nothing in this letter is meant to encroach upon the purview of the CAP Surgeon
General, the established relationship between that office and the Chief Medical Officer of Health
for Ontario, or the formal and informal connections by the CFHS and its offices, with those
medical and profesSional Colleges and Associations that represent the medical professionals and
health care capabilities within the Ontario health care system. Rather, this is meant to
compliment that discussion by ensuring a command awareness on these issues so as to support
the Surgeon General, the CFHS and our CAP medical and non-medical general duty personnel as they execute daily tasks as an ACC team in this unexpected and difficult operating environment.
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Download or open: OP-LASER-JTFC-Observations-in-LTCF-in-On