TORONTO, Oct. 29, 2014 /CNW/ - Yesterday, the Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dipika Damerla, announced the government will soon begin a capital redevelopment program for approximately 300 long-term care homes that do not meet current design standards (1998).
Many older homes have four-bed rooms, cramped living spaces, and may lack full sprinkler systems and other important safety mechanisms. Under the government's capital redevelopment program, long-term care homes will be provided with funding and other supports to renovate or rebuild as needed, improving both the comfort and safety of Ontario's long-term care homes.
"Living in a four-bed room is particularly stressful for people who live with Alzheimer's and other dementias, which is more than 60 percent of the population in long-term care and increasing every year," says Candace Chartier, CEO of the Ontario Long Term Care Association. "Long-term care is very different than it was when these homes were built 30 or 40 years ago."
Today's seniors stay in their homes or retirement homes as long as possible, and when it's time for a move to long-term care, "their health is very fragile, with high needs for support and health care. But many older homes don't have the right environments for their care," Chartier says.
A capital redevelopment plan was promised in the 2014 provincial budget. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced yesterday they will be finalizing the details of the plan in consultation with the Association and other stakeholders over the next few months. Capital redevelopment will begin in the fall of 2015.
"The government has been listening to our feedback, and we're very pleased they are taking such a collaborative approach," Chartier says. "We're looking forward to working together to improve long-term care homes for Ontario's most vulnerable seniors."
The Ontario Long Term Care Association represents a full spectrum of charitable, not-for-profit, private, and municipal long-term care operators. The Association's member homes are funded and regulated by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. OLTCA members provide care, accommodation, and services to almost 70,000 seniors annually.
SOURCE: Ontario Long Term Care Association
For further information: Judy Irwin, Senior Manager, Communications, Ontario Long Term Care Association, Mobile: 647-967-8995