Budget Funds Only 1 More Minute of Resident Care When 30 More Minutes Needed

    MARKHAM, ON, March 22 /CNW/ - The needs of 75,000 residents and their
families in some 600 long term care homes in communities across Ontario have
clearly been forgotten in today's provincial budget.
    "With the one more minute of care funded in today's budget, staff will
still be run off their feet to meet basic care needs," said Executive
Director, Karen Sullivan. "The double standard of physical comfort and privacy
between old and new homes will continue with no commitment to a capital
renewal and retrofit program."
    "We are shocked at this level of response and we are sure residents and
families will be too," she said. "Government has repeatedly said that more
needs to be done in long term care and care levels and capital renewal were
described as budget issues when they were repeatedly raised just over a month
ago during the public hearings on the new Long Term Care Homes Act (Bill
    The priority of these issues for residents and families was reiterated
last week in petitions containing some 50,000 signatures that were delivered
to MPPs by OLTCA member homes.
    The petitions requested increased operating funding to provide 30 more
minutes of daily resident care, address other service issues and for
government to commit to a capital renewal and retrofit program to begin to
renew the province's 300 older homes.
    Ms. Sullivan said, "30 more minutes of care would have ensured that staff
had more than 8 or 9 minutes to get residents up, dressed, to the bathroom and
to the dining room for breakfast. It would have moved Ontario's daily care
levels to the 3 hours that are required to better meet their needs and that
residents in other provinces already benefit from."
    "A capital renewal and retrofit program would have been a signal that 3
and 4 bed wards are no longer an acceptable standard in Ontario," she said.
"All residents should have access to the maximum two residents to a room and
other standards that government is already helping fund for 36,000 residents
in new and recently rebuilt homes."
    Ms. Sullivan pointed out that today's budget only increases operating
funding by $14 million and there is no commitment to a capital renewal and
retrofit program for older homes.
    "That's enough funding for only one more minute of care, a difference
that will be almost impossible to notice," she said, "and no hope for more
physical comfort, privacy and dignity for the 35,000 residents who live in
older homes."
    Over the coming days OLTCA member homes will be updating residents and
families on government's response in today's budget to their request.

    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: Gilbert Heffern, Director of Communications and
Public Affairs, (905) 470-8995, (647) 999-8341 (cell), gheffern@oltca.com

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