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Woman scared for brother in Calgary long-term care home with COVID-19 outbreak

Last Updated Apr 6, 2020 at 3:30 pm MST

CALGARY — A Calgary woman says she’s terrified for her brother who has a severe mental disability and is living in a long-term care home with an outbreak of COVID-19.  

Julie Nimmo’s brother, Jesse Middleton, is a resident at the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre, which had more than 50 positive tests for the novel coronavirus as of Friday.

Nimmo says her brother is 50 years old, but has the mental capacity of a three year old and has been staying in a dementia unit.  

She says Middleton was tested on March 25, the day after she got word of the outbreak, and the result was negative.

But she says she’s once again holding her breath and hoping symptoms don’t show up, because Middleton was moved on the weekend to a different unit where there have been COVID-19 cases.

She says her brother was moved due to a dispute with another resident, but adds the home should ensure residents stay put so that the virus doesn’t spread further.

“Common sense would say don’t move residents from unit to unit at all,” Nimmo said Monday.

Protocols for other residents, such as instructing them to stay in their rooms and frequently washing their hands, just don’t work for people with dementia and other cognitive issues, she said.

“That’s why they’re in long-term care — to have somebody else step in and help protect them,” she said.

“You can’t do anything to help them. All you can do is sit and wait and pray.” 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 6, 2020



Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press