Elderly care needs to be recognized for the skilled work that it is, says Pat Armstrong

The first person to die of COVID-19 in Canada was a resident of a long-term care home — a man in his 80s, living at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver. That facility would go on to become the first nursing home in Canada to experience an outbreak among its residents, foreshadowing a much greater tragedy to come.

By now, homes for seniors across the country have become ground zero for the virus. They account for more than half of all COVID-related deaths in the country.

That’s hundreds of this country’s elderly citizens — all with rich lives, histories and hopes for their futures — dying alone, bereft of dignity and respect. Thousands more are at risk of soon suffering the same fate.

“We haven’t placed a high priority on providing care in nursing homes. I think that basically we’d rather not think about them,” Pat Armstrong told Michael Enright of The Sunday Edition.