Long Term Care Association Kicks Off Week-Long Provincial Celebration

First-Ever, "Long Term Care Week" Recognizes that 'Aging is Living'

MARKHAM, ON, Oct. 19 /CNW/ - The Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) kicked off its inaugural Long Term Care Week today, to recognize the specialized contribution of long term care homes in providing a quality care and living experience to 76,000 aging Ontarians with complex medical needs as part of Ontario's publicly funded healthcare system.

From October 19 to 25, OLTCA and its 430 member homes will be holding a number of special events that demonstrate and support the efforts of homes, administrators, staff, volunteers, families and others who work together to help residents manage the impact of aging with a focus on the individual and their quality of life.

"We viewed our 50th anniversary as an opportunity to shine the spotlight on one of the most under-recognized sectors in Ontario that holds much potential to meet the growing healthcare needs of our aging population," said OLTCA CEO Christina Bisanz. "Looking closely you see a unique combination of commitment, compassion, expertise and innovation that is about the resident and their total care and living experience."

"Against this background it is not surprising that in its 2009 Annual Report the Ontario Health Quality Council found that nine out of 10 long term care residents expressed satisfaction with the care they received," she said. "Or that all of the subjects in Irene Borins Ash's new book 'Aging is Living' declared that they were where they wanted to be at this time in their life."

Long Term Care Week provides an opportunity for others to discover that while each long term care home is unique, they are all providing a care and support program to meet the needs of the residents in the home and to respond to the care needs in their communities. In addition to supporting residents with their daily living activities and medical requirements, this care and support program ranges from specialized programs such as convalescent care and peritoneal dialysis to resident participation activities such as autobiography writing and gardening.

"Long term care homes have built a specialized expertise in helping increasingly older Ontarians manage the impact of aging," Ms. Bisanz said. "It's an expertise that has increasing value given demographic trends. During this week we recognize this value and welcome the opportunities to discuss with government, our partners, residents, families and others how this value can be maximized for the benefit of all Ontarians."

    Long Term Care by the Numbers

    -   Over 76,000 Ontarians live in over 600 long term care homes
    -   Long term care in Ontario employs upwards of 80,000 people
    -   The average age of long term care residents is 86 years - up from 75
        years a decade ago
    -   Acuity of long term care residents has increased two per cent
        annually for more than a decade
    -   Nine out of 10 long term care residents voice satisfaction with the
        care and attention received in their long term care residence
        (Ontario Health Quality Council 2009 report)
    -   85 per cent of family members are satisfied with the care homes
        provide (Ontario Health Quality Council 2009 report)

About the Ontario Long Term Care Association

OLTCA is celebrating 50 years as the only association representing the full spectrum of Ontario's charitable, not-for-profit, municipal and private operators of over two-thirds of the province's long term care homes that provide care and services to 50,000 residents and employ some 50,000 Ontarians.

SOURCE Ontario Long Term Care Association

For further information: For further information: To arrange an interview with an OLTCA representative or long term care professional, please contact: Cynthia Innes, Edelman Public Relations, Tel: (416) 979-1120 ext. 343, Email: Cynthia.Innes@edelman.com; Or Lucy Lai, Edelman Public Relations, Tel: (416) 979-1120 ext. 279, Email: Lucy.Lai@edelman.com

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