TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2017 /CNW/ - AdvantAge Ontario welcomes the provincial government's release this morning of Aging with Confidence: Ontario's Action Plan for Seniors. Key elements of the plan are directly in line with recommendations that the Association has long been calling for to improve care for seniors.
AdvantAge Ontario, which represents not-for-profit providers of seniors' care, is pleased to hear that the province is committed to increasing the provincial average to four hours of direct care per resident per day for seniors living in long term care homes. For a number of years now, Ontario's seniors have been entering long term care homes with more medically complex needs, and this additional support is welcomed and needed. An average of four hours of care has been a long-standing advocacy priority for the Association ever since the target was identified in the government-commissioned Sharkey Report on long term care in 2008.
In addition to more hours of care, the government is committing to providing specialized training in behavioural supports and in palliative and end-of-life care as well as focusing on ensuring greater access to culturally appropriate homes and in-home supports.
The government also announced 5,000 new long term care beds by 2022, and a total of over 30,000 new beds in the next decade. The province will prioritize placing seniors with the highest need as well as those with specific cultural needs. The addition of beds will help alleviate wait times and was one of AdvantAge Ontario's key asks in its budget submission to the government earlier this year in Meeting Seniors' Needs Now: 2017-18 Provincial Spending Priorities.
"Demand for long term care in Ontario has stretched well beyond capacity. Seniors are currently facing huge wait lists to receive the care they desperately need," says Robert Morton, Interim CEO of AdvantAge Ontario. "The additional 5,000 beds in the short term are critical to address immediate pressures. We will be pressing for all new bed allocations to be based on rigorous capacity planning and consumer preference data, which would result in over half of the beds going to the not-for-profit sector," adds Morton.
In Aging with Confidence, the government acknowledged that further consultation is required on certain aspects of its plan. AdvantAge Ontario will advocate to ensure that commitments are put in place and that the needed funding and resources are provided to the sector to support implementation.
AdvantAge Ontario is the trusted voice for senior care. We are community-based, not-for-profit organizations dedicated to supporting the best possible aging experience.
SOURCE AdvantAge Ontario
For further information: Debbie Humphreys, Senior Director, Corporate and Public Affairs, 416.553.7401, [email protected]