TORONTO, March 22, 2016 /CNW/ - The Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS) is urging the government, through the Standing Committee, to make 2016-17 Provincial Budget allocation decisions that will directly benefit long term care residents in this fiscal year.
OANHSS presented today to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs during its hearings on the Budget Measures Act, 2016.
"Details have yet to be announced in some critical areas, including funding for food and how new investments in the Behavioural Supports Program will be applied," said Debra Cooper Burger, OANHSS Board Chair. "We welcome this important opportunity to reiterate key recommendations that we put forward in our pre-budget submission."
Specifically, OANHSS identified three priority areas:
- Adequate funding for food: A minimum increase of 62 cents per resident per day for food. Currently, the daily food budget for residents is only $8.03 per day for three meals and snacks.
- In-home dementia care support: The $10 million announced in the Budget for 2016-17 for the Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) program must be allocated to in-home behaviour supports. This will help to move the sector towards a provincial average of 4 hours of care per resident per day that OANHSS has been calling for and the Liberal government endorsed several years ago.
- Safe, comfortable environments: Long term care homes must have access to minor capital funding through the government's Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund to properly maintain homes for residents.
In addition, OANHSS highlighted to the Committee the critical need for funding to assist not-for-profit seniors' housing providers in complying with new fire safety requirements.
"The February budget was a step in the right direction," added Debbie Humphreys, Acting CEO. "We will continue to advocate strongly for Ontario's seniors to ensure they receive high quality care that meets their increasingly complex needs."
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.
Please refer to the following documents for more information on OANHSS' Budget recommendations:
- Pre-Budget Priorities (summary of key recommendations)
- Ensuring the Care Is There: Meeting the Needs of Ontario's Long Term Care Residents (full submission)
SOURCE Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS)
For further information: Media contact: Chris Noone, Manager, Communications and Member Services, (W) 905-851-8821 ext. 253