Over 50,000 Tell MPPs - Long Term Care Needs More than a Band aid in Next Week's Budget



    MARKHAM, ON, March 18 /CNW/ - MPPs have received a clear message that
long term care needs 'more than a band aid' in next week's provincial budget.
    Over 50,000 residents, families and their supporters have sent postcards
to all 107 MPPs supporting the Ontario Long Term Care Association's (OLTCA)
request for an additional $513 million so homes can add staff and enhance
services to provide residents with the care they need, when they need it, in
their home. OLTCA member homes provided the postcards as an opportunity for
others to express their support for government to fund the care and services
residents need.
    "This is a strong expression of concern from Family Councils, Residents'
Councils and others over continuing to see staff run off their feet trying to
help residents dress, get to their meals and to the bathroom," said OLTCA
Executive Director Janet Lambert. "It mirrors the concerns over incontinence
care and other issues that have been publicly expressed by others."
    The additional funding OLTCA is requesting will allow homes to add staff
to provide some 20 more minutes of daily care for residents. The additional
staff, in combination with the requested increased funding for incontinence
care supplies, will enhance incontinence care. OLTCA's request also includes
funding for additional staff to run programs and prepare meals as well as
funding to increase access to clinical dietician consultations and to stem the
four year erosion in housekeeping, laundry and maintenance services.
    "Addressing these key issues will make a real difference for residents
throughout the day, every day," Ms. Lambert said. "This is the difference over
50,000 Ontarians have now asked government to support in this budget instead
of, as in recent budgets, picking a single issue and applying a band aid."
    Ms. Lambert pointed out that the benefits of the additional staffing
would be widely felt. It would reduce staff rushing to provide care which can
lead to frustration resulting in aggressive behaviours. It would enable homes
to provide more of the care residents need and thus reduce transfers to
emergency rooms.
    "Everyone is looking to next week's budget to see if government has heard
their message," she said.
    OLTCA represents the private, not-for-profit, charitable and municipal
operators of 430 long term care homes that provide care and services to some
50,000 residents throughout Ontario.


    
                                 Backgrounder
                                 ------------

                   OLTCA's Operating Funding Request 2008

    The Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) has requested government to
increase long term care operating funding by $513 million in the 2008-2009
provincial budget to support a comprehensive solution to staffing and other
key resident care and service issues. This funding would enable homes to:

    -   Increase daily care and service levels to an average of 3.0 worked
        hours
        -  This would add 4,350 FTE's in OLTCA member homes alone, 80% of
           whom would be PSWs, activity aides and food service workers with
           the remainder being registered nursing staff.
    -   Support homes to increase the number of incontinence changes from the
        current average of 3.5 to approximately 5 per day for those residents
        who need it.
    -   Increase activity aide staffing to provide more programs,
        particularly during the evenings and on weekends
    -   Increase clinical dietician consultation time by 15 minutes per
        resident per month.
    -   Provide more food service workers to help prepare resident meals.
    -   Stop the erosion in housekeeping, laundry, maintenance and related
        services.

         Implications for Government's Emergency Wait Time Strategy

    Overall, the solution OLTCA has proposed will enable homes to provide more
of the care residents need and increase the confidence of both physicians and
families in the home's ability to provide this care. In terms of specific
benefits:

    -   More PSWs, who provide most of the hands on care, will increase daily
        resident interactions to improve daily monitoring, overall health
        status and resident safety levels.
    -   More staff to runs activities and programs will enhance resident
        physical and mental stimulation.
    -   Improved nutrition and proper diets will strengthen resident immune
        systems.
    -   More registered nursing staff means enhanced clinical assessments.
    -   Good housekeeping and maintenance services mean good infection
        control.
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Gilbert Heffern, Director of
Communications and Public Affairs, (905) 470-8995, ext. 25, (647) 999-8341
(cell), gheffern@oltca.com


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