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Lack of COVID-19 support at Calgary long-term care home has daughter worried she might lose her mother

Last Updated Apr 5, 2020 at 8:47 am MST

File photo ot McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre. (PHOTO: CityNews)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — The McKenzie Towne Long Term Care facility has been the hardest-hit location of COVID-19 with 65 confirmed cases of the virus in the southeast building.

Families are concerned for the health of their loved ones as the location is struggling with staffing due to some testing positive for COVID-19 and others not going to work for their safety.

Melanie Morris has a 76-year-old mother named Audrey at the facility who has mild symptoms of COVID-19 along with congestion issues and diabetes.

Morris says her mom is having a hard time receiving basic support.

“They aren’t bathing them. My mom hasn’t been bathed, not even sponge bathed, since March 14,” Morris said.

Morris’ mother has mobility issues and needs assistance to get up in the morning, which isn’t happening because there are few staff members able to help feed those in need.

“They are spending most of the morning almost until lunch feeding those patients while the other patients, like my mom, who requires a two-person lift because she had a stroke in July, they are left in bed until 20 to 11,” she added.

Morris’ mom is often left on her back, which worries her because of her congestion issues, and she wants her mother to be able to sit up and drain her body to avoid getting pneumonia. Morris’ mother is also having to use her diaper often because no one is coming to walk her to the bathroom.

Morris knows frontline staff are working hard during this pandemic and are putting themselves on the line to help her mom and other residents and thanks to them, but she doesn’t understand where Alberta Health Services is coming in with support.

During Thursday’s provincial COVID-19 update Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the McKenzie Towne site is a significant concern for health officials and are doing what they can to help the situation.

“While everything possible is being done, it is possible we will continue to see new cases and public health is working closely to make sure that when and if that happens that all the support required are there,” Hinshaw said.

Hinshaw also discussed how they are working on containment to make sure the situation doesn’t spread further, but Morris doesn’t believe that’s enough.

“For this home, that ship has sailed. That’s like talking about shutting the barn door after the horses have escaped,” Morris said.

“My mom might die, but it might not be from COVID–it might be from a lack of care and a lack of care from the government level,” she added.