Concerned Friends of Ontario Citizens in Care Facilities and the
Alzheimer Society of Ontario voice concern
TORONTO, June 5, 2013 /CNW/ - According to Concerned Friends of Ontario
Citizens in Care Facilities, a provincial advocacy group, families
caring for someone with advanced dementia are reaching the end of their
rope, often waiting up to five months for a long-term care bed.
"That's five months too long," says, Kathy Pearsall, a board member of
Concerned Friends. "This is an intolerable situation and just the tip
of the iceberg as we look to the growing numbers of people developing
Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. We need to find solutions
Unlike other chronic diseases, advanced dementia requires caregivers to
provide 24-hour care. Many caregivers experience burn out and develop
other health conditions. For most, hiring external help is prohibitive.
Gale Carey, Chief Executive Officer at the Alzheimer Society of Ontario
adds that even when someone is admitted to long-term care, staff are
often not equipped to manage the care required for dementia. "A person
can wait for a placement an average of 170 days in some regions," she
says. "Once placed, however, there is no guarantee they will receive
care from staff who are trained and have the skills to respond to the
needs of residents with dementia or cognitive impairment. Not only do
we need to reduce wait times, but we also need to make sure there is
consistency in the quality and delivery of care across residential
"While Ontario's Action Plan for Health Care is keeping more seniors at home longer because of home-care funding, the
strategy is failing Ontario families dealing with someone in the
advanced stages of dementia," adds Pearsall.
Sixty per cent of long-term care residents have dementia and an
additional thirty per cent have some form of cognitive impairment. The
number of Ontarians with dementia is set to double in the next 20
years. Costs are expected to escalate beyond cancer or heart disease,
according to a new study by Dr. Michael Hurd published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Alzheimer's disease and most dementias remain incurable. Some
medications can temporarily manage the symptoms but none can slow, stop
or reverse the condition. Changing health-care delivery and service
can at least provide better outcomes and improve the quality of life
for Ontarians living with these diseases.
Ontarians are invited to contact Concerned Friends or the Alzheimer
Society at 1-855-489-0146 if they have concerns with long-term care in
There are 634 long-term care homes in Ontario and 77,783 beds. More than
half of the homes (57%) are for-profit.
Wait lists for long-term care homes are nearly four times longer than
they were in 2005. The median wait time for people in crisis is 94
days. Wait times vary greatly across the province.
Currently, 19,000 Ontarians are on waiting lists for long-term care.
60 per cent of long-term care beds are designated as 'preferred
accommodation,' which means those willing to pay higher fees get in
SOURCE: Alzheimer Society of Ontario
For further information:
Concerned Friends of Ontario Citizens in Care Facilities
Director of Media Relations
Alzheimer Society of Ontario