Families complain of no air-conditioning, missing belongings at COVID-stricken Maimonides
MONTREAL -- The families of people living in a Montreal seniors' home that was hard hit by COVID-19 said they struggled to ensure their relatives had air conditioning during the recent heat wave.
Morris Azouz said he spent time in Maimonides Geriatric Centre taking care of his 92-year-old mother Ida and struggled in the heat.
“The last four days, when we had a mini heat wave, with myself wearing full protective gear, wearing a face mask, face shield, a full gown that did not breathe, I was sweating,” he said. “My main concern was to keep my mother cool.”
Azouz said while an AC unit was installed in her sixth floor room on Monday, another family posted a photo on social media on June 3 showing new units being delivered to the facility.
“They delivered hundreds of AC units and they sat on pallets for weeks without being installed,” he said.
Joyce Shanks, whose 80-year-old father Harvey Stoliar also lives in Maimonides, also said it took too long to have air conditioning installed.
“That shouldn't be the case, we shouldn't have to beg to have our parents in humane living conditions,” she said.
The regional health authority managing Maimonides said all air conditioning requests were fulfilled by Monday and that additional requests are being filled in real time. But Shanks said she worries about her father.
“We shouldn't have to be squeaky wheels,” she said. “When the government says seniors are vulnerable and need air conditioning, it shouldn't be us complaining to get it installed.”
In an effort to contain COVID-19, Maimonides recently created a hot zone on the seventh floor and shuffled residents' on the fifth and sixth floors. In total, 39 deaths have occurred at the facility during the pandemic.
“All hell broke loose and then they started moving people around and taking away their clothes and creating cohorts,” said Shanks. “We thought they had it under control and didn't ask for help fast enough.”
Azouz said the pandemic measures has created another issue, as residents had their personal belongings packed away.
“I have no idea where that stuff is,” he said. “I have no idea where it's being stored, if it's off-site or on-site.”
The regional health authority told CTV News the belongings were being stored and were professionally moved but did not specify where.