FACETS (Aug 2020)

Restoring trust: COVID-19 and the future of long-term care in Canada

  • Carole A. Estabrooks,
  • Sharon E. Straus,
  • Colleen M. Flood,
  • Janice Keefe,
  • Pat Armstrong,
  • Gail J. Donner,
  • Véronique Boscart,
  • Francine Ducharme,
  • James L. Silvius,
  • Michael C. Wolfson

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 5, no. 1
pp. 651 – 691


Read online

The Royal Society of Canada Task Force on COVID-19 was formed in April 2020 to provide evidence-informed perspectives on major societal challenges in response to and recovery from COVID-19. The Task Force established a series of working groups to rapidly develop policy briefings, with the objective of supporting policy makers with evidence to inform their decisions. This paper reports the findings of the COVID-19 Long-Term Care (LTC) working group addressing a preferred future for LTC in Canada, with a specific focus on COVID-19 and the LTC workforce. First, the report addresses the research context and policy environment in Canada’s LTC sector before COVID-19 and then summarizes the existing knowledge base for integrated solutions to challenges that exist in the LTC sector. Second, the report outlines vulnerabilities exposed because of COVID-19, including deficiencies in the LTC sector that contributed to the magnitude of the COVID-19 crisis. This section focuses especially on the characteristics of older adults living in nursing homes, their caregivers, and the physical environment of nursing homes as important contributors to the COVID-19 crisis. Finally, the report articulates principles for action and nine recommendations for action to help solve the workforce crisis in nursing homes.