KITCHENER, ON, Feb. 6, 2017 /CNW/ - Seniors living in new or newly renovated long-term care homes are experiencing first-hand the tremendous benefits these homes provide for their care and comfort. With 90% of residents living with some level of cognitive impairment in long-term care homes province-wide, newer homes create a better, safer environment for all residents and staff.
"The needs of seniors entering long-term care have risen dramatically in recent years," said Candace Chartier, CEO of the Ontario Long Term Care Association. "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. Our seniors deserve better care."
At a long-term care home in Kitchener, Ms. Chartier outlined the challenges facing seniors in the Kitchener-Waterloo Region:
- There are currently more than 51,825 seniors over the age of 75 living in the Waterloo-Wellington region. This number is expected to grow by 56% in the next 10 years and 140% in the next 20 years. On average, this region will see an increase of 10 seniors per day until the year 2027.
- 40% of the long-term care homes in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge are outdated and need to be modernized. More than 800 seniors in the city are living in these outdated homes. In Kitchener alone, more than 330 seniors are living in these outdated homes.
The Association's plan for action, "Better Seniors' Care," is calling for immediate action to improve seniors' care in Ontario, including:
- Implementing a plan to modernize every long-term care home in Ontario that has been classified as outdated by the province – increasing the quality of care to the 35,000 seniors who live in these homes.
- Ensuring seniors outside of urban centres have sufficient access to care close to home.
- Providing a more predictable approach to funding and ensuring specialized resources are enhanced to support residents with increasing needs.
To help raise awareness of the challenges facing seniors living in long-term care, the Association is undertaking a province-wide tour to meet with residents and families. Today's stop was at peopleCare AR Goudie in Kitchener.
"Thanks to the dedicated staff here at AR Goudie, we continue to provide the highest quality of care possible to our residents." said Paul Rektor, Executive Director at peopleCare AR Goudie. "Our in-home Behavioural Supports Ontario team works directly with residents and their families to ensure consistent, resident-centred care."
Homes with specialized in-home dementia supports, such as in AR Goudie, focus their time on supporting efforts that are geared to improving the care for residents with dementia and up-skilling existing staff. Research shows that in-home teams are two-to-four times more likely to help reduce challenging behaviours for those experiencing cognitive impairment. Unfortunately, only some long-term care homes have access to these resources.
"We know there is more work to be done to ensure all long-term care residents across the province get the care they require as their needs continue to increase," said Brent Gingerich, President and CEO of peopleCare. "We need a system where every home has been updated and where staff are provided with the improved resources required to care for seniors with dementia and other complex health conditions."
"We need our elected officials to make providing better seniors' care a priority for the long-term," said Chartier. "We know that Ontarians share our concern about our ability to care for their parents and grandparents. Our seniors need to know that when they can no longer be cared for at home, the long-term care services they need will be there for them. The time for action is now."
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. The Association represents nearly 70% of Ontario's 630 long-term care homes, located in communities across the province. Our members provide care and accommodation services to more than 70,000 residents annually.
SOURCE Ontario Long Term Care Association
For further information: Adrian Kupesic, Director of Public Affairs & Governance, Ontario Long Term Care Association, 647-256-3492, firstname.lastname@example.org