TORONTO, Jan. 29, 2015 /CNW/ - Without increased staff, long term care residents will not get the care they need and will increasingly be at risk, warns the Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS).
"At 3.4 hours per resident per day, current staffing levels continue to fall far short of the 4.0 hours per resident per day recommended by the Sharkey Report in 2008," says Tim Siemens, OANHSS Board Chair.
OANHSS delivered its message today to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs at pre-budget hearings in Toronto. OANHSS is urging the government to increase staffing levels to a provincial average of 4.0 hours per resident per day over the next three years, at a cost of approximately $385 million.
Over 78,000 residents live in Ontario's 630 long term care homes, and demand continues to grow with more than 20,000 seniors on waiting lists. Seniors are coming into long term care with increasingly complex care requirements, such as intravenous therapies and peritoneal dialysis, as well as advanced forms of dementia and aggressive behaviours, which only add to the concerns about safety.
The government's policy direction over the last few years to enhance community care and allow seniors to stay in their homes as long as possible is welcomed, but it means that seniors are being admitted into long term care with greater care needs. With current staffing levels, homes are having serious difficulty meeting the needs of an increasingly challenging resident population.
"This is the same budget recommendation we brought to the government in 2010. The target was right then, and it is right now, yet we are still not there," added Donna Rubin, OANHSS CEO. "We simply do not have enough staff in our long term care homes to provide the care that Ontario's seniors need and deserve."
In addition to the renewed call for increased staffing, OANHSS is asking the government to improve the current long term care home funding model and to develop a funding framework to improve the level and equity for community service funding.
Copies of the OANHSS submission and remarks are available at www.oanhss.org.
OANHSS 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 Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS)
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