OANHSS Calls for Investments to Keep Long Term Care Residents Safe

KINGSTON, ON, Jan. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Keeping people safe is the greatest challenge long term care homes are facing in caring for their residents.

The Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS) delivered this message to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs at pre-budget hearings in Kingston today.

"We need system changes that will require funding to support homes in caring for residents with aggressive behaviours and mental health issues or residents will continue to be at risk," said Donna Rubin, OANHSS CEO.

OANHSS is calling for funding to support its recommendations that include three critical components: staffing increases, specifically in-house behaviour care expertise in every home; more designated behaviour units to care for residents with severe aggressive behaviours; and, regular and recurring behaviour-related training for all care staff.

The Association's analysis of clinical data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) for the period of January 2010 to March 2013 revealed that 35% of all residents have moderate levels of aggressive behaviour and 11% show severe to very severe levels of aggressive behaviours.

"For years we have been signaling that we do not have enough direct care staff on the floor and the staff we have is not adequately trained to properly care for residents with aggressive and unpredictable behaviours," added Rubin.

OANHSS acknowledges that the government has responded with funding for certain targeted initiatives over the last few years including Behaviour Supports Ontario (BSO), a provincial program for long term care homes initiated in 2010.

"While our members have welcomed the added BSO support the government needs to step up its approach in every home if this issue is to be resolved," said Rubin. "We have a collective responsibility to ensure the safety of residents in Ontario's long term care homes."

Fiscal challenges cannot trump continued investments to ensure residents in Ontario's long term care homes receive high quality care in safe environments.

OANHSS is the provincial association representing not-for-profit providers of long term care, services and housing for seniors. Members include municipal and charitable long term care homes, non-profit nursing homes, seniors' housing projects and community service agencies. Member organizations operate over 27,000 long term care beds and over 8,000 seniors' housing units across the province.

A copy of OANHSS' submission is available at www.oanhss.org.

SOURCE Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS)

For further information:

Debbie Humphreys
Senior Director, Corporate and Public Affairs
(W) 905 851 8821 x230
(C) 416 553 7401