TORONTO, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - Despite consistent and collective calls by
seniors, families and providers, today's Provincial Budget appears to
ignore the urgent need to improve care and safety for Ontario's long
term care residents.
"We really expected to see targeted investments to support long term
care homes in caring for residents with aggressive behaviours and
mental health issues," said Donna Rubin, CEO of the Ontario Association
of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS). "Keeping people
safe is by far the greatest challenge homes are facing in caring for
their residents. We hoped to see acknowledgment of this critical issue
in the Budget."
The Association's analysis of clinical data from the Canadian Institute
for Health Information (CIHI) revealed that 35 percent of the 77,000
residents in long term care homes have moderate aggressive behaviours
and that this population is increasing at a rate of about four percent
or 1,200 residents per year. OANHSS also found that about 11 percent of
residents are considered severely aggressive. As such, in a standard
resident home area of 34 beds, three to four residents will have severe
levels of aggressive behaviours.
"While we understand that there will be an adjustment to funding, the
increase needs to be significant enough to actually raise the level of
care and not simply maintain current levels," added Rubin. "Otherwise
we will be no further ahead in our ability to meet the needs of
aggressive residents and to keep everyone in our homes safe."
OANHSS was pleased to see two proposed measures in the Budget that, if
implemented, will provide needed support to homes; specifically,
funding to accelerate redevelopment of older homes and an amendment to
the Assessment Act to exempt all charitable and non-profit homes from
"Consistent and equitable property tax treatment in our sector is
something we have been seeking for many years. We appreciate the
government's commitment to move forward with a solution," said Rubin.
In this Budget the government also continued its commitment to enhancing
community-based care with $15 million per year in new funding to help
meet the five-day home care service target and a recommitment to
increasing home and community care services by an average of five
percent per year.
"We have many member organizations across the province that deliver
important and valued community services such as meals on wheels, day
programs and supportive housing. We applaud these investments to
support seniors to stay in their homes for as long as possible," said
Rubin. "We need to remember, however, that this means people are coming
into our long term care homes at a later stage and with increasing
complex health needs and behaviours. We need more resources to properly
care for these residents."
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.
SOURCE: Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS)
For further information:
Senior Director, Corporate and Public Affairs
(W) 905-851-8821 ext. 233