The majority of Canadians whose family members and close friends were in long-term care (LTC) homes a year ago believe the facilities handled their COVID-19 response as well as “could be expected” (39 per cent) or “well enough overall” (42 per cent), while one-in-five say their loved one’s LTC facility failed in its duties. 

According to a study by the Angus Reid Institute, since COVID-19 first tore through many LTC facilities in Canada a year ago, there have been more than 15,000 resident deaths, accounting for about two-thirds of all fatal coronavirus cases in Canada. 

Angus Reid looks at experiences of 800 Canadians  

Angus Reid Institute tried to understand the experiences of more than 800 Canadians who currently have or have had a family member or close friend in care within the past year.

Criticisms are consistently higher for LTC facilities that are government-run or operated by large private companies as part of a chain. On each of the questions of overall COVID-19 handling, communication, and protection of residents, respondents whose loved ones were in smaller, privately run facilities are half as likely to offer a negative appraisal. 

One-in-three respondents with loved ones in either a government-operated (34 per cent) or larger chain-run private facility (31 per cent) say staffing levels represent significant concerns. Those assessing smaller private facilities are half as likely to say this (16 per cent). 

As well, one-in-five Canadians would not recommend the current facility that their loved one is residing in, while the rest say that they probably (45 per cent) or definitely (24 per cent) would.