OANHSS Forum: Political Parties Respond to Tough Questions on Seniors' Care

TORONTO, Sept. 23, 2011 /CNW/ - Today's forum, hosted by the Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS), put a spotlight on seniors' care and services, one of the most pressing election issues in the lead up to next month's provincial election.

"We felt it was important for our sector to hear from the four political parties on their plans for meeting the current and future care and service needs of Ontario's seniors," said Donna Rubin, CEO of OANHSS.

Liberal MPP Greg Sorbara, PC MPP Christine Elliott, NDP MPP Michael Prue, and Green Party representative Mike Schreiner fielded tough questions on the future of LHINs, adequate supports to keep seniors at home and tackling long wait lists for long term care, among others.

While each party proposed different solutions, all four agreed that seniors' health care is a key priority that must be addressed.

"These are very complex issues and there are no easy answers to addressing the needs of Ontario's seniors. OANHSS firmly believes that one of the first steps the next government must take is to launch a comprehensive capacity planning exercise," said Rubin. "This is the only way to ensure that seniors have access to the most cost-effective care and services they require when and where they need them."

OANHSS released its election position statement, Making Seniors a Priority, earlier this year and identified four key priorities and solutions for the next government that if implemented will result not only in better outcomes and a higher quality of life for seniors and their caregivers, but also a more effective health care system. Chief among these are increased staffing for long term care and specialized resources to support seniors with dementia and other mental health needs.

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 5,000 seniors' housing units across the province.

Image with caption: "Ontario seniors at the OANHSS Forum, Making Seniors a Priority, held on Friday, September 23, 2011 (CNW Group/Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110923_C6297_PHOTO_EN_3776.jpg

Image with caption: "Provincial party politicians discuss seniors' care at the OANHSS forum, Making Seniors a Priority, held on Friday, September 23, 2011. From left to right: Green Party representative Mike Schreiner, NDP MPP Michael Prue, Forum moderator Susanna Kelley, PC MPP Christine Elliott, Liberal MPP Greg Sorbara, and OANHSS Board Chair Kevin Queen. (CNW Group/Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110923_C6297_PHOTO_EN_3777.jpg

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

For further information:

Debbie Humphreys
(W) 905-851-8821 ext. 233
(C) 416-553-7401

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

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