‘It’s a huge loss’: Ottawa PSW who died of COVID-19 remembered by colleagues

OTTAWA — A personal support worker at Madonna Care Community who died of COVID-19 is being remembered as a hard worker who took great pride in those he cared for.

“He’s a very dedicated PSW,” said colleague Nisha Nair. “Very dedicated person, so very hard worker and very good with the residents.”

Nair said even when he was off-duty, residents often would ask for him by name.

“He should not like die like this with the COVID-19 and I’m very sorry for his loss.”

The man, whose name has not been released, had worked at the home since 2001.

In a statement, Sienna Senior Living which operates the home had said “he was a loved and respected team member and will be missed by his colleagues and the residents he cared for.”

Nair said even before the pandemic hit, she and some colleagues had raised concerns about staffing levels and personal protective equipment with management at Madonna.

“Because people are not doing anything that’s why the mess is happening,” Nair said. “We have to wait so long, again, again, repeatedly going to their offices or sending them emails. This is not the way nursing works because all the managers…they should know how priority it is for the resident’s care.”

Sienna Senior Living, the company that operates the home, said it has appropriate supplies, including personal protective equipment.

In a statement it said “there has been a supply of PPE at all residences since prior to this pandemic outbreak and Sienna does not anticipate any near-term shortages at this time. We are doing everything we can to procure an adequate supply of PPE for the duration of the pandemic and beyond.”

The minister of long-term care has said the home has an assigned support person from the ministry to ensure it has everything it needs. 

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