TORONTO, April 27, 2017 /CNW/ - The Ontario Long Term Care Association is lauding the Government of Ontario's 2017 Budget: A Stronger, Healthier Ontario, calling it a significant step forward that will greatly improve care and supports for a growing number of frail seniors with complex medical needs.
"We are pleased that the province has listened to our sector and responded by making not just long-term care, but all seniors, a priority in this year's budget," said Candace Chartier, Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Long Term Care Association. "The proposed investments announced today will go a long way toward improving care and services today and tomorrow, while greatly enhancing our ability to better care for a growing number of seniors with increasing health needs."
In 2016, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) demonstrated that upwards of 90 per cent of residents in long-term care exhibit some form of cognitive impairment and that more than 30 per cent were severely impaired. Further, CIHI stated that almost 50 per cent of residents in long-term care exhibit some level of aggressive behaviour related to their cognitive impairment.
In addition to the call for improvements to front-line resources to better support seniors with Alzheimer's and other related dementias, the Association put forward recommendations to enhance in-home resources such as growing funding for nutrition and meals, while also soliciting system improvements to enhance access for the more than 28,000 seniors on the provincial wait list. The Association called on the province to add more long-term care beds while also improving its program to modernize older homes, which aims to rebuild or renovate more than 30,000 long-term care beds by 2025.
Today's announcement includes commitments to increase dementia supports, including further investments in the Behavioral Supports Ontario program and Ontario Dementia Strategy; to provide funding to improve nutrition in long-term care; and to look at ways to enhance capacity throughout the sector. Funding will also be provided to improve access to training and supports for palliative and end-of-life care in long-term care homes.
"Although we are certainly looking forward to learning more, we have heard a very encouraging message that seniors are important to the government. This budget means long-term care and the residents we serve will get a much-needed boost in supports from the province," added Chartier. "We remain committed to our advocacy around improving the province's program to modernize older homes, and look forward to engaging further in the coming weeks and months to see what more can be done to better stimulate the redevelopment of older long-term care homes."
About the Ontario Long Term Care Association
The Ontario Long Term Care Association is the largest association of long-term care providers in Ontario and the only association that represents the full mix of long-term care operators – private, not-for-profit, charitable, and municipal. Our members provide care and accommodation services to over 70,000 residents annually in nearly 440 long-term care homes in communities throughout Ontario.
SOURCE Ontario Long Term Care Association
For further information: Adrian Kupesic, Director, Public Affairs and Governance, (647) 256-3492, [email protected]