Conestoga news

April 25, 2021 3:10 PM

COVID-19: local experiences in healthcare and education

On March 24, Dr. Veronique Boscart, executive director of the Canadian Institute for Seniors Care at Conestoga and executive dean of the School of Health & Life Sciences, participated in the University of Waterloo’s virtual conference on Aging, COVID-19 and the Adoption of Health Technology.

Hosted by the School of Public Health and Health Systems, Network for Aging Research, and the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology, the event examined the promise and limits of technology to promote successful longevity and featured aging and technology researchers, clinicians and health care workers, members of advocacy groups, policymakers, technology officers from industry and visionaries that have implemented innovative models for supporting older adults.

As part of a panel discussion on the pan-Canadian impact of COVID-19 on older adults, Dr. Boscart shared her perspectives and experiences as both an educator and a nurse working in nursing homes during the pandemic.

Dr. Boscart also provided highlights from the Royal Society of Canada’s (RSC) policy briefing that was published last summer. Restoring Trust: COVID-19 and the Future of Long-Term Care is an initiative of the RSC Task Force on COVID-19 which was mandated to provide evidence-informed perspectives on major societal challenges in response to and recovery from COVID-19.

Among the academics included in the task force’s Working Group on Long-term Care was Dr. Boscart who served as its only college-based expert.

The report reviews the long-standing deficiencies in the long-term care sector and the causes that contributed to the COVID-19 crisis in Canada’s nursing homes.

Included among the nine recommendations for solving the workforce crisis in the sector is a requirement for the federal government to establish and implement national standards for nursing homes that ensure training and resources for infectious disease control, implementation of minimum education standards for care home workers, and mental health supports for all nursing home staff.

The Canadian Institute for Seniors Care, led by Dr. Boscart, the CIHR/Schlegel Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Seniors Care, focuses on education, workforce development and applied research to develop highly qualified personnel to improve the quality of life and care for Canada’s growing population of seniors.