TORONTO, April 27, 2017 /CNW/ - Today's provincial budget included welcomed funding commitments in response to priorities raised by AdvantAge Ontario, most notably a $15 million annual increase in the food budget for long term care residents.
"This is very good news for residents in long term care," said Catharine Gapp, CEO of AdvantAge Ontario. "Our Association has long been a lead voice on this issue. In our most recent budget submission, we called for a minimum 3.9% increase in food funding, and we are so pleased that the government exceeded our request with this 6.5% increase. Meals and the dining experience are tremendously important to the physical, social and emotional well-being of residents. This added funding will help our members considerably as they strive to provide culturally-appropriate food and the quality and variety of meals that residents enjoy."
The budget also included a 2% increase to nursing and personal care, as well as an additional $10 million to support long term care residents with behavioural issues. These investments represent the second year of a three-year funding commitment made by the government in the 2016-17 budget.
"We are pleased that the government carried through on its commitment in these two critical areas. These investments will keep us moving forward, but we are continuing to see an increasing number of residents with heavy care needs and mental health issues. We will continue to work with government to ensure homes have the resources they need to provide safe, quality care for residents," added Gapp.
AdvantAge Ontario has been asking for funding to support a provincial average of 4 hours of care per resident per day. This call has been echoed by many sector stakeholders as well as residents and family members. Research evidence clearly shows that more staffing will mean better quality care, better resident outcomes and greater resident safety.
AdvantAge Ontario also commends the government's continued investment in the community sector with today's announcement of $250 million for 2017-18.
"We have many member organizations across the province that provide important and valued community services such as meals on wheels, day programs and supportive housing. We applaud these investments to support these much-needed programs," said Gapp. "The government has put a high priority on supporting seniors to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. This funding will help ensure the community sector has the resources it needs to play a larger and more effective role in the continuum of care for seniors."
AdvantAge Ontario is the provincial association representing not-for-profit providers of long term care, services and housing for seniors. Members include not-for-profit long term care homes (municipal, charitable and non-profit nursing homes), seniors' housing, supportive housing, and community service agencies. Member organizations serve over 36,000 long term care residents annually and operate over 8,000 seniors' housing units across the province.
SOURCE AdvantAge Ontario
For further information: Debbie Humphreys, Senior Director, Corporate and Public Affairs, W. 905.851.8821 x 233, C. 416.553.7401