TORONTO, May 28, 2014 /CNW/ - As the election campaign passes the midpoint, the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) is calling on the province's political parties to commit to taking immediate action to rebuild the 4 in 10 long term care homes that need modernization and to make supporting the needs of seniors living with Alzheimer's and other dementias a priority.
"The needs of seniors in Kitchener-Waterloo entering long term care homes have risen dramatically in recent years," said Candace Chartier, CEO of OLTCA. "Too many seniors are living in homes that need to be rebuilt and modernized. Too many seniors with dementia aren't getting the supports they need to ensure their comfort and safety. That's why we've launched betterseniorscare.ca. Our campaign proposes solutions to these issues and aims to make change happen."
At a long term care home in Kitchener, Ms. Chartier outlined the challenges facing seniors in Waterloo region:
- 848 seniors (more than 35%) are living in homes that require rebuilding in Waterloo Region.
- The number of seniors in Waterloo Region over the age of 80 is expected to grow by 50% in the next 10 years, and by almost 150% in the next 20.
OLTCA's plan for action, "Better Seniors' Care: It's Time." identifies key challenges facing seniors in long term care homes in Ontario and is calling on the next government to make long term care a priority by:
- Implementing a plan to modernize homes identified as needing redevelopment, increasing the quality of care to the 35,000 seniors who live in these homes.
- Establishing dedicated support teams in every home to ensure the safety and comfort of all seniors including the 61% of seniors living with Alzheimer's and other dementias.
- Additional resources to address chronic understaffing and enhance care provider roles to better care for the 93% of seniors who require additional support to manage chronic diseases.
To help raise awareness of the issues facing seniors in long term care and build support for their plan, OLTCA has initiated a province-wide tour to meet with residents and their families, and unveiled a comprehensive advocacy campaign encouraging families and Ontarians to help make change happen by visiting betterseniorscare.ca.
"We need the next government to make providing better seniors care a priority for the long term. We know that Ontarians share our concern about our ability to care for their parents and grandparents," said Chartier. "Our campaign provides them with the tools they need to do something about it. We want the public to know that with the right level of resources, long term care homes are expertly positioned to provide high quality and supportive care. Ontario seniors deserve that."
About the Ontario Long Term Care Association
The Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) is Canada's largest long term care association representing charitable, not-for-profit, private, and municipal long term care operators. The Association's 441 member homes are funded and regulated by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. OLTCA members provide care, accommodation and services to approximately 70,000 seniors annually.
SOURCE: Ontario Long Term Care Association
For further information: Adrienne Spafford, Director, Strategy and Public Affairs, 416.272.0120, [email protected], www.oltca.com