OTTAWA, June 10, 2014 /CNW/ - As the election campaign enters its final week, the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) is calling on the province's political parties to commit to taking immediate action to rebuild the 4 in 10 long term care homes that need modernization and to make supporting the needs of seniors living with Alzheimer's and other dementias a priority.
"The needs of seniors in Ottawa entering long term care homes have risen dramatically in recent years," said Candace Chartier, CEO of OLTCA. "Too many seniors are living in homes that need to be rebuilt and modernized. Too many seniors with dementia aren't getting the supports they need to ensure their comfort and safety. That's why we've launched betterseniorscare.ca. Our campaign proposes solutions to these issues and aims to make change happen."
At an Ottawa long term care home built in 1965, where there are 2-3 residents in one room and up to 5 sharing a bathroom, Ms. Chartier outlined the challenges facing seniors in the Ottawa region:
- 1,120 residents (36%) are living in homes that require rebuilding in Ottawa Region.
- The number of seniors in the Ottawa Region over the age of 85 is expected to grow by almost 30% in the next 10 years, and by almost 130% in the next 20.
OLTCA's plan for action, "Better Seniors' Care: It's Time." identifies key challenges facing seniors in long term care homes and is calling on the next government to make long term care a priority by:
- Implementing a plan to modernize homes identified as needing redevelopment, increasing the quality of care to the 35,000 seniors who live in these homes.
- Establishing dedicated support teams in every home to ensure the safety and comfort of all seniors including the 61% of seniors living with Alzheimer's and other dementias.
- Providing additional resources to address chronic understaffing and enhance care provider roles to better care for the 93% of seniors who require additional support to manage chronic diseases.
To help raise awareness of the issues facing seniors in long term care and build support for their plan, OLTCA has initiated a province-wide tour to meet with residents and their families, and unveiled a comprehensive advocacy campaign encouraging families and Ontarians to help make change happen by visiting betterseniorscare.ca.
"Thanks to our dedicated staff, we continue to provide the highest quality of care possible to our residents," said Cory Nezan, Administrator, New Orchard Lodge. "While there are challenges associated with operating in an older home, any redevelopment opportunities would only serve to complement the efforts of our staff in providing the highest quality of care, quality of life, and safety we are able to provide to our residents. For example, a redeveloped home would allow residents more privacy and make movement throughout the home easier for those residents in wheelchairs."
About the Ontario Long Term Care Association
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: Adrienne Spafford, Director, Strategy and Public Affairs, 416.272.0120, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.oltca.com