More Staff Critically Needed to Meet Resident Care Needs

PEMBROKE, RENFREW COUNTY, ON, Feb. 18, 2015 /CNW/ - Seniors in long term care homes have greater care requirements than ever before but with current staffing levels, homes are having serious difficulty meeting their needs, warns the Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS).

Provincial data shows that in 2013-14, 83% of new admissions had high to very high levels of impairment compared to 76% in 2009. Long term care residents are simply not receiving the care they need and, without additional support, will increasingly be at risk.

"At 3.4 hours per resident per day, current staffing levels continue to fall far short of the 4.0 hours per resident per day recommended in a 2008 report on staffing in long term care homes," says Donna Rubin, OANHSS CEO. "The recommendation was right then and it is right now, but it will take a significant provincial commitment to close this gap." 

"As the amount of care that residents need increases, the quality of our care will suffer unless we have more provincial funding to increase the staffing levels," says Shelley Sheedy, Administrator of Miramichi Lodge in Pembroke.

Over 78,000 residents live in Ontario's 630 long term care homes, and demand continues to grow with more than 22,000 seniors on waiting lists. Seniors are coming into long term care with increasingly complex care requirements, such as intravenous therapies and peritoneal dialysis, as well as advanced forms of dementia and aggressive behaviours, which only add to the concerns about safety.

OANHSS is urging the government through the next provincial budget to increase staffing levels to a provincial average of 4.0 hours per resident per day over the next three years, at a cost of approximately $385 million. OANHSS' request is outlined in its recent provincial budget submission, available at www.oanhss.org.

OANHSS is the provincial association representing not-for-profit providers of long term care, services and housing for seniors. Members include not-for-profit long term care homes (municipal, charitable and non-profit nursing homes) seniors' housing, supportive housing, and community service agencies. Member organizations serve over 36,000 long term care residents annually and operate over 8,000 seniors' housing units across the province.

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

For further information: Debbie Humphreys, Senior Director, Corporate and Public Affairs, dhumphreys@oanhss.org, (W) 905-851-8821 x233, (C) 416-553-7401

RELATED LINKS
http://www.oanhss.org

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

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