Northern Ont. family fighting to say final goodbyes to loved one at care home
The family of 83-year-old Simone Lefebvre is furious with an Iroquois Falls long-term care home for refusing in-person visits as she nears death.
Granddaughter Cassie Drapeau, 28, said South Centennial Manor denied pleas to be with Lefebvre while she was in a COVID-19 isolation room with other residents on Tuesday, even though staff did not expect her to survive the night.
"At first, they just said 'no, there's nothing we can do,'" Drapeau said in an interview.
"'She's not dying alone, there's a nurse with her, we can FaceTime you.'"
Drapeau asked staff if arrangements could be made to make an in-person visit possible, but said they would not budge.
Current guidance from Ontario's Ministry of Long-Term Care outlines that essential visitors should have unrestricted access to residents, even during a COVID-19 outbreak. That includes people visiting a very ill resident receiving end-of-life care.
According to the most recent COVID-19 Guidance Document for Long-Term Care Homes in Ontario, "Homes are reminded that residents have a right under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007, to receive visitors and homes should not develop policies that unreasonably restrict this right."
Granddaughter protested all night
Feeling her grandmother's rights to visitors were being violated unnecessarily, Drapeau drove to the home's parking lot and stayed there through the cold night in protest -- where temperatures dropped to around - 40 C.
She displayed signs on her car saying, "Let us say Goodbye," "Nobody should die alone" and "Please let us see our dying Grandma, doesn't she have rights?"
Lefebvre made it through the night, but staff still refused visitors.
After media got word of the incident and started reporting on the incident and asking for comment, the home eventually allowed Lefebvre's three daughters to visit her one at a time in the isolation room.
'What about all the other people?'
Had her grandmother died Tuesday night, Drapeau said having to see her last moments through a phone screen would have been unacceptable.
She feels this ordeal should not have happened.
"My grandma shouldn't die alone, nobody should... and it doesn't just end here, with her," Drapeau said.
"Yes, I'm glad that now people are allowed to go in with her but what about all the other people who are in there?"
Lefebvre has since been moved into a palliative care room, where the manor is allowing two essential caregivers to visit her at a time.
Drapeau said she has been told she is not allowed to visit at all because she is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and other family members living in the home also haven't been able to see her.
However, according to the Ontario Minister's Directive: Long-term care home COVID-19 immunization policy section 2.4, essential visitors are permitted visitation regardless of vaccination status.
Home's CEO responds
Paul Chatelain, the CEO of the MICs Group of Care Services -- which runs the South Centennial Manor--said this was an unfortunate situation that has now been rectified.
He said that there are COVID-19 safety measures in place for visitors and that showing up to the home demanding a visit does not mean staff will be able to let someone inside.
"When a resident has COVID-19 and is cohorted into a room, we need to protect not only the residents but the visitors, as well," Chatelain said.
Chatelain said the South Centennial Manor takes specialized guidance from the Porcupine Health Unit, to tailor its COVID-19 response to its particular situation — though he said staff needed to wait until the day after the family requested to visit Lefebvre to receive advice on this matter.
CTV News has reached out to Porcupine Health Unit and is waiting for a response.
He maintains confidence in the level of care provided at the manor, despite this incident, adding that a lack of capacity at the more than 50-year-old facility has made it difficult to accommodate visitors, while also ensuring safety.
"All of our homes are suffering," Chatelain said.
"COVID is a real challenge for visitation and for the residents and the staff."
'We should all be with her'
Drapeau is not accepting this, though, saying that anyone who wants to visit Lefebvre should be able to, as long as they accept the risks of being exposed to COVID-19.
Long-term care residents do have a right to visitors, unless for reasonable exceptions, and she believes the home's handling of this situation was heartless and inhumane.
"People should be with their loved ones in their last moments ... we should all be with her," Drapeau said.
"I feel like that's why she's hanging on, is because she's waiting for each of us to be able to go in there."
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
By now it's as predictable as the calls for thoughts and prayers: A mass shooting leaves many dead, and wild conspiracy theories and misinformation about the carnage soon follow. Within hours of Tuesday's school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, another rash began as internet users spread baseless claims about the man named as the gunman and his possible motives.
Families are sharing photos and stories of their loved ones, who lost their lives in a mass shooting in Texas that killed at least 19 children and two adults on Tuesday afternoon.
Conservative Party of Canada leadership hopefuls Scott Aitchison, Roman Baber, Patrick Brown, Jean Charest, Leslyn Lewis, and Pierre Poilievre squared off in the second official party debate on Wednesday night in Laval, Que.
Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman's rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-year-old shooter was killed by a U.S. Border Patrol team.
Several parts of the country, including British Columbia and Canada's Maritime provinces, are likely to see wetter-than-normal conditions this summer, according to AccuWeather's annual summer forecast.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says it has now confirmed a total of 16 cases of monkeypox in the country, all in Quebec.
During an appearance on ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday, adopted siblings Hannah Raleigh of Chicago and Limia Ravart of Montreal met in person for the first time after an ancestry test confirmed the two are in fact related.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cancelled plans to appear in person at a Liberal fundraiser in British Columbia Tuesday after RCMP warned an aggressive protest outside the event could escalate if he arrived, said a source close to the decision. The source spoke to The Canadian Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.
A jury in Portland has convicted a self-published romance novelist - who once wrote an essay titled 'How to Murder Your Husband' - of fatally shooting her husband four years ago.
Police charged a 16-year-old girl with attempted murder in connection with an alleged stabbing in Barrie last month.
An Orillia man responsible for causing a head-on collision when he drove the wrong way on Highway 11 four years ago, sending a woman to the hospital with life-altering injuries, has been acquitted.
Provincial police are investigating an alleged sexual assault in Wasaga Beach.
Was your home damaged by the Ontario storm? Insurance companies say payouts could take weeks to process
The insurance industry says it could take up to six weeks to get an idea of how many hundreds of millions of dollars in pay outs will be required from the weekend storm that brought death and destruction to Ontario and Quebec, but that early estimates are substantial.
Police have released new video of a recent incident in which a vehicle was caught doing doughnuts and speeding along the shoulder of busy Ontario roadways.
People all across Ontario are getting creative when it comes to netting a secondary income, otherwise known as a “side hustle,” and many are turning to secondhand economies thriving on online platforms.
The president of Hydro Ottawa says "with a little bit of luck" power will be restored along the Merivale Road area on Thursday, bringing power to another 15,000 to 20,000 customers still in the dark following Saturday's storm.
The Ottawa Catholic School Board says all schools with power will be open on Thursday, but 14 schools without power will remain closed.
Out of the tragedy of Saturday’s storm, come stories of people helping each other.
New details are emerging about the tragic incident that killed 27-year-old Shelby Humble-Neale on Saturday.
Waterloo regional police say evidence of gunfire found in McLennan Park in Kitchener is connected to another shooting incident in the nearby area of Windflower Drive and Windflower Crescent.
Two 29-year-old men have been seriously injured following a collision in Baden, Ont., with one needing to be airlifted to a hospital outside the region.
Two men and one woman are facing charges Wednesday after police say their vehicle struck a London police cruiser and then the suspects fled the scene on foot over the weekend.
OPP and Southwest Middlesex fire are on the scene of a fatal collision Wednesday afternoon involving a tanker truck and a passenger vehicle.
Jeff Ducharme was in his home office when a young man in a truck pulled up, ran up to the front of his home in Norwich, Ont. and stole his pride flag in broad daylight.
After a major tragedy, should parents wait for their children to express their feelings before talking about it?
Not having an answer to all of your child's questions about tragedies like the Texas school shooting is perfectly okay, according to a grief therapist with the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Helping students break down academic and social barriers, more Temi robots coming to St. Clair College
The Community Integration through Cooperative Education (CICE) program at St. Clair College received a $20,000 boost Wednesday morning.
Windsor police arrest final suspect sought in Forest Glade shooting, Major Crimes Unit continues investigation
Windsor police have arrested another suspect related to the shooting near a Forest Glade bowling alley in April.
Quebec politicians were not pleased with the federal Liberals' comments on Bill 96 and Bill 21, firing back with a slew of protests and even raising sovereignty as the solution.
Quebec's public health department is set to give its first press conference on the growing monkeypox outbreak as the province recorded its 16th confirmed case Wednesday.
Several of the six aspiring Conservative leaders expressed their opposition to Bill 96 during a French-language debate in Laval on Wednesday night, but others shied away from the opportunity to express their views on the issue.
As the inquiry into Nova Scotia’s mass shooting moves its public proceedings to Truro, many of the family members affected by the tragedy and their lawyers are boycotting the proceedings over the next week.
Former Chief Anchor Steve Murphy offers a timely perspective on the Mass Casualty Commission and the difference 30 years after the Westray inquiry.
Speaking off-script at an event in Halifax Wednesday morning, Canada's Minister of Public Safety said he was gutted by the latest mass shooting south of the border - the 27th in a school this year alone.
The Manitoba Government could turn to the military for help as it struggles with staffing shortages, overcrowding, and in some cases, temporary closures of emergency rooms.
The Manitoba government is hinting it may allow more alcohol sales through private channels to boost customer convenience.
Hundreds of residents in River Park South were left without power Wednesday evening after a pole was knocked down on St. Anne's Road.
The City of Calgary has recruited three people from the commercial real-estate sector in an effort to get a new event centre to replace the aging Scotiabank Saddledome.
After a massacre at a Texas elementary school, some are looking into safety protections against gun violence in Calgary's school system while mental health experts are offering advice for difficult conversations about mass shootings.
Those who haven't received their bill by the first week of June are asked to contact 311.
If you visit downtown Edmonton in the next 11 days, you might see some strange and unusual sights. Art installations and musical performances are popping up throughout the area as part of Downtown Spark.
Even though they cheer for opposite teams, a proposal by a Flames fan at Game 4 of the Battle of Alberta received a resounding "yes" from the Oilers-loving bride to be.
The body of a missing canoer has been located in northeast Alberta.
The decision to focus on urgent and emergency health care to avert long waits played a key role in B.C.’s current primary care crisis, and the costlier care is compounding the problem.
A social media video that captures the moment a man gets Tasered by a Vancouver police officer is prompting calls for more training for police going out mental health calls.
A judge has refused to grant a B.C. cannabis company an injunction against a man who used a list of email addresses the company accidentally sent to all shareholders against it.