Residents need more time and human connection

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“I was an RN in Ethiopia. When I immigrated to Canada, I became a care aide. I’m currently an LPN and I’ve been an HEU member for 25 years.

I work for a private facility where wage levelling with the Single Site Order during the pandemic was a huge thing for us because we were paid more. Due to the pandemic, our wages are now levelled to the facilities sector.
When there were outbreaks at our site the biggest issue was understaffing. Looking back, I don’t know how we did it. There were days when it was me and one other staff to twenty five residents. Staff got sick even though we did our best. I was sick with all of my family. We also lost a lot of residents and it was very emotionally draining. All of the staff worked so hard.

I love working with seniors. Family can’t be with them 24/7 and we become their family. But we need more hours per resident in long term care. Every individual we work with is so different. Right now we don’t have time to talk and listen to residents. It’s constantly rushed. Residents need more time and human connection. That needs to change.

I’m always surprised to learn more about seniors and the people I care for. They give us a gift by sharing their lives with us. I know we’re all really busy, but we need to also see our residents like human beings. We have to put ourselves in their shoes. Show respect and dignity.” 

Hirut, LPN, part of the health care team