New investment to redevelop long term care homes will improve quality of
life and quality of care
TORONTO, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - The Ontario Long Term Care Association
(OLTCA) applauds today's announcement that the government intends to
enhance the long term care home renewal strategy to meet the
increasingly complex needs of long term care residents.
Currently, approximately 44% of Ontario's long term care homes - many of
them small or in rural locations - do not meet the most recent design
standards (1998). Many of these are also not currently equipped with
fire sprinklers, and all would benefit from renovations and expansions
to accommodate the more complex care needed by today's long term care
"Long term care has changed dramatically in the last decade," said
Candace Chartier, CEO of OLTCA. "The province's expansion of 'aging at
home' supports for seniors, along with the increase in retirement home
options, means that seniors who come to long term care are typically at
a much more advanced stage of physical and cognitive decline than they
were in the past."
The majority (93%) of residents have two or more chronic health
conditions; 61% of residents live with Alzheimer's or another form of
dementia; and 46% display some level of aggressive behavior. Research
shows the population of seniors with complex physical and cognitive
needs will continue to grow significantly in the coming years.
"Today's announcement means that the homes where residents live will not
only be safer, but will provide the right space and support for the
needs of residents today and tomorrow," said Chartier. "We look forward
to working with the government on the implementation details of the
program to ensure that it's viable, sustainable, and in the best
interests of Ontario's seniors."
Chartier expressed disappointment that there was no funding for
Behavioural Supports Ontario teams in every home, which are needed to
help provide safe and sensitive care for seniors whose Alzheimer's or
related dementia is causing aggression and other challenging behaviour.
A recent survey completed by Nanos Research found that more than 90% of
Ontarians are concerned or very concerned about the availability of
staffing support for seniors in long term care and about the physical
condition of long-term care homes in Ontario. More than four in five
(82%) believe the government needs to invest in long term care now to
ensure seniors get the quality care they need.
In its submission to government for the 2014 budget, OLTCA put forward
five recommendations to strengthen the quality of care provided to
70,000 seniors every year. One of these recommendations was a viable
capital redevelopment program.
"We recognize the pressures facing government in today's fiscal
environment and are committed to being part of the solution to provide
the right care in the right place at the right time for Ontario's
seniors," said Chartier. "Our members look forward to working with
government to deliver the homes that our seniors deserve, and we will
continue to call for the right resources for their care needs."
The Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) is Canada's largest long
term care association representing charitable, not-for-profit, private,
and municipal long term care operators. The Association's 441 member
homes are funded and regulated by the Ontario Ministry of Health and
Long-Term Care. OLTCA members provide care, accommodation and services
to approximately 70,000 seniors annually.
SOURCE: Ontario Long Term Care Association
For further information:
Director, Strategy and Public Affairs