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Last week, Charna Bonin’s 89-year-old mother,Alyne Singerman, tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to the Jewish General Hospital with dehydration, among other symptoms.

The case of Singerman — who was transferred from the Donald Berman Jewish Eldercare Centre — appears to be typical of patients arriving from CHSLDs. According to information received through nearly a dozen interviews with the families of patients, doctors and advocates, short staffing is to blame, as patients who need help feeding themselves are often not getting that assistance.

“At the hospital, we’re seeing patients (from CHSLDs) arriving completely dehydrated and with kidney deficiencies because they haven’t had enough to drink for several days,” Vinh-Kim Nguyen, an emergency doctor at the Jewish General Hospital, told the Journal de Montréal on Thursday.

Now, a week later, Singerman’s hydration levels have returned to normal, and her condition appears to be improving. Bonin says doctors have said they would like Singerman to be transferred back to the Jewish Eldercare. However, that’s a nightmare scenario for her, as staffing levels at the centre have not drastically improved, despite promises by Quebec Premier François Legault that more doctors and nurses would be sent as reinforcements this week.

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