Sienna Senior Living introduces new safety measures

Thursday, June 4, 2020

In the aftermath of the scathing report issued by the Canadian Armed Forces about the state Ontario long-term care, Sienna Living announced it will be increasing safety measures to protect residents and workers as they continue to grapple with COVID-19.

“While disturbing, the CAF report was written during the peak of a crisis situation,” the statement began. “It does not reflect the current reality at our Altamont Care Community or other Sienna residences. The CAF will be providing an updated assessment before they depart Altamont in mid-June.”

Sweeping new safety measures include:

Immediate investigation: “We have hired Paul Boniferro, former Deputy Attorney General of Ontario, to conduct an immediate, company-wide review into the policies, practices and culture at Sienna. This review will help us identify how best to ensure that our expectations of a respectful, safe and inclusive environment are met at every residence, at all hours of the day.”

Additional health-care expertise: “We have begun a search to hire a senior health and long-term care expert to act as senior advisor to our management and Board of Directors and to provide additional executive capacity to push forward with these new initiatives and address current challenges.”

Frontline re-education: “We are immediately introducing enhanced frontline education protocols focused on quality and safety to ensure all team members understand and provide the quality of care our residents deserve. While Sienna residences have ample access to personal protective equipment (PPE), this will include re-education sessions focused on PPE.”

Zero tolerance policy and sensitivity training: “We are reinforcing our zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate behaviour and conducting sensitivity training with frontline staff that will include a special lens to address the extenuating circumstances our residences are facing.”

Increase communications: “We are increasing our communications with our residents and their families, including having already started holding videoconference town hall meetings across our network of residences that will continue so that we can hear directly from residents and their loved ones. We are also prioritizing regular virtual visits between residents and their loved ones.”

Accelerating staffing, recruiting and retention efforts: “While hiring and recruiting has been a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sienna is accelerating aggressive recruitment efforts. To further enhance quality and frequency of communication with families, we will also be allocating additional resources to this important work.”

Sienna has established a special committee that will oversee all the initiatives listed above, and said it is “committed to delivering full and transparent reporting of our progress, including in our communications with our residents and their loved ones and via regular postings on our website.”

Further, as part of the investigation led by Mr. Boniferro, any residences that raise red flags will be identified and addressed. Recently, the Sienna leadership team was made aware of very serious and disturbing allegations of actions within the Camilla Care Community and has dedicated resources to investigate the situation and will take action should the allegations prove true.

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