Winnipeg woman isolating in hotel to be allowed to help ailing father at embattled care home

A Winnipeg woman is taking it upon herself to help her ailing father at a city long-term care home that is most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eddie Calisto-Tavares told 680 CJOB that her dad is a resident at the embattled Maples Personal Care Home, which recently saw a large outbreak, with dozens of residents — including her father — testing positive for the coronavirus.

She’s now isolating at a hotel in order to be allowed into the care home to care for him.

“He’s very weak. I found him on the floor when I arrived at the home,” she said. He was “very confused, very weak, he couldn’t get up, and very, very cold,” she said.

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“One of the symptoms of COVID I’ve noticed on him is that he doesn’t have a fever but he’s very cold — his body is like ice.”

Calisto-Tavares said leaving him abandoned wasn’t an option, as her father has severe dementia and no longer remembers how to speak English.

“This is the third time he’s been isolated from family throughout (the pandemic),” she said.

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“In his world, if he doesn’t see anyone that he either recognizes (by) the voice, or potentially the face, then he feels very abandoned.”

Read more: 69 residents at Maples Personal Care Home test positive for COVID-19

Calisto-Tavares said the staff at the care home are trying their best to manage with the resources they have, and she has no intention of shaming or blaming them for any part of the situation — but she needed to do something to help her father.

“I wrote to management, I told them exactly what I would do. I’d move into a hotel, I have a car, I don’t go into society. I just go between the hotel and the home and I’m there to check and see what his needs are, to hold him, to tell him we love him, and just to translate for him,” she said.

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The government, she said, needs to make a greater effort to get the virus under control — and should have been ready for this months ago.

“In the next two weeks, how many more of my fathers will be happening all over Manitoba, not just at the Maples?”

Read more: Red Cross called in to help at Winnipeg personal care homes as coronavirus cases mount

According to the latest outbreak numbers, Maples Personal Care Home has seen 166 positive cases, 120 of which are residents.

Eight people have died at the home due to the virus.

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The Red Cross has been called in to help with the crisis at Winnipeg’s personal care homes, spokesman Jason Small confirmed to Global News on Tuesday.

“I can confirm that the Red Cross is working with the provincial and federal governments to provide support in certain care homes in Winnipeg. I can’t share which facilities. That is up to the provincial government,” he said.

“We are working with our partners on what that support will look like and when. We hope to have more details in the near future.”

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