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  • Writer's pictureDeb Boekestein

Trapped in bed, I’ve grown accustomed to hunger and despair — a year in LTC

I am on every crisis list to get out of this nursing home, even willing to move away from family for proper care.

May 4, 2024

Deb Boekestein, Owen Sound 

While Ontario’s most urgent problem is the thousands of people stuck on unbudging wait lists for a nursing home bed, barriers to care can also arise once a senior secures a placement.

As I sit here trapped in bed, no bell, dependent on a random mix of impersonal staff and new staff — a strange situation for all — I am on my own for the night.


My nursing home move caused disappointment despite the desire to be closer to town and have more social interaction. A surprise admission call arrived Friday evening, a prank I thought, setting a move date for the following Wednesday. Management unavailable, due to the Family Day long weekend, leaving no one to show the room before arrival.


I had five days to clear my old room while downsizing to the new.


I hurriedly packed to move to a new place. The initial month was delightful, but the staff quality deteriorated over a couple of weeks. I faced language barriers, inconsistent care, and a lack of reassurance. Many residents longed to return to their previous homes, as the situation became increasingly chaotic and disheartening.


Staff changes were frequent, complaints were ignored. After many complaints, the ministry investigated. We held our breath as they paused admissions while listening to residents and families; management scrambled to fix issues, promises were made, and admissions reopened a few months later. Broken promises and unfulfilled resolutions led to more disappointment. 




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