TORONTO, Feb. 28, 2012 /CNW/ - Shifting to accommodate transitional care in long term care homes is a direction the sector is willing to embrace but the needs of long stay residents must remain a priority.
This was the message delivered today at the Economic Club of Canada by Donna Rubin, CEO of the Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS), as part of a panel speaking on the roles that prevention and rehabilitation play in a sustainable health care system.
"Prevention and rehabilitation are not commonly associated with long term care," said Rubin. "Changing consumer expectations about where and when they receive care and what is most efficient from a health care system perspective is driving this shift to short term rehabilitation in long term care homes so people can return home and stay there for as long as possible."
Rubin cautioned however that long term care homes in Ontario are already full with over 20,000 people on the waiting list.
"We must give careful and considered thought to how we build this capacity into our sector. Repurposing much-needed beds for transitional care at a time when a growing number of people need access to long term care services will result in competing priorities," added Rubin.
OANHSS has been calling on the government to undertake a comprehensive capacity planning exercise to inform decision-making about the number of beds and types of community services that will be required to meet the current and future needs of Ontario's seniors.
"We need a long term plan," said Rubin. "Without one, we won't be able to handle the number of seniors coming down the pike, let alone provide them with the care they need."
OANHSS is the provincial association representing not-for-profit providers of long term care, services and housing for seniors. Members include municipal and charitable long term care homes, non-profit nursing homes, seniors' housing projects and community service agencies. Member organizations operate over 27,000 long term care beds and over 5,000 seniors' housing units across the province.
For further information:
Manager, Communications and Member Services
Tel: 905-851-8821 ext. 253