Another Wakeup Call for Government to Fund Long Term Care Appropriately

    MARKHAM, ON, Oct. 18 /CNW/ - Last night's CBC Marketplace program is the
latest wakeup call for government to appropriately fund long term care homes.
    "The issues raised by this program join incontinence care as the latest
mounting evidence for government to fund homes for the staff, program and
service levels needed to fully address the care needs of today's aging
residents," said Executive Director Karen Sullivan.
    Ms. Sullivan pointed out that increased long term care funding is an
important part of a system solution for managing age related behaviour issues
that also includes enhanced system coordination and capacity, access to
psychogeriatric resources and training.
    "Homes need more funding for more staff to spend more time with
residents, respond quicker to their needs so they don't become agitated
because their call bell is not answered and so that specially trained staff
have time to implement their training. Funding is also needed for homes to
provide the small group and 1 to 1 programming that benefit residents with
dementia," she said.
    Ontario provides funding that allows the average home to provide 2.6
worked hours of care per resident per day (prpd) and provides $7.12 prpd for
all resident activities and programs. This is insufficient for an older and
frailer resident population over 60% of whom are affected by varying degrees
of dementia.
    "We need an immediate investment of $500 million to address the
underlying staffing, program, and service issues that give rise to many of the
concerns raised by Marketplace and others," she said.
    "Beyond funding, we need increased access to specialized resources and
alternatives to ensure that placements are appropriate," Ms. Sullivan said.
"Homes need to be able to access these resources and alternatives in those
cases where residents should not be, or can no longer be safely, cared for in
long term care."
    These alternatives could include a sufficient number of appropriately
funded specialized units in existing homes.
    "Media stories like Marketplace raise public concerns. The issues and
solutions are complex. Government can take real steps toward addressing those
concerns and finding the solutions in a matter of a few months by providing
the funding for more staff, more programs and enhanced services in long term
care homes in the 2008 Budget," Ms. Sullivan 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. This represents approximately 70% of the
province's long term care homes and 65% of the total beds.

For further information:

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

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