Ontario funds LTC at a lower level than just about any other Canadian province. The result is that there isn't enough staff to provide residents who need help with feeding, bathing, toileting and getting out of bed, the care time they need each day.
Provincial funding to increase care and staffing levels has not kept pace the complex needs of residents. Since 1992, the complexity of care needs for Ontario residents in long-term care has increased significantly. The majority of residents are 85 years of age and older and 73 per cent of them have some form of Alzheimer's or dementia.
Although the Ontario government recently re-announced that inspections of LTC homes would increase, Kelly O'Sullivan with CUPE Ontario says that "more inspections alone aren't enough. We have no issue with inspections. But what we actually need is a provincial standard of about 4 hours of direct care each day."
This would mean, says O'Sullivan more hands to provide the care. More personal support workers, more care aides and registered practical nurses to do direct care for those residents who need help with feeding, bathing, toileting, dressing and getting in out of bed.
"We are hopeful that if done properly and front line staff are included in inspections – the health ministry will be able to document that there aren't enough staff to meet the care needs of residents,"
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