OTTAWA, ON – Better and increased care for residents in long-term care should be a priority for the Ontario government, “but sadly isn’t,” say Ottawa direct care staff rallying Tuesday, February 13 (2018) at a local MPP’s office for a legislated four-hour daily care standard for residents.
The Ontario New Democrats have put forward a private members Bill (Bill 33, The Time to Care Act) that would mandate in law, increased care levels for long-term care residents to four hours each day. Personal support workers, registered practical nurses and other staff presented by CUPE attending tomorrow’s rally (between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon) at Ottawa-Orléans Marie-France Lalonde’s office (206 – 250 Centrum Boulevard, Orléans), say they want the Liberal MPP to vote with her conscience and pass Bill 33 when the Ontario Legislature returns later this month.
“Quality of care continues to be jeopardized by chronically low staffing and low funding for long-term care in Ontario. We can, and should, do better by passing legislation that gives residents a daily minimum care standard. So far, all this government has given is nebulous lip service to increasing care. Residents deserve a four-hour standard mandated in legislation,” says Heather Duff, an Ottawa-based community care worker and chair of CUPE Ontario’s health care workers’ committee.
Studies show that staffing is one of the most important determinants of care in long-term care. This holds true whether considering medically-oriented “quality of care” measures or more comprehensive “quality of life” measures, like care with dignity and compassion.
Direct care providers are too rushed to provide the care levels residents with complex medical conditions need because there aren’t enough of them, says Louis Rodrigues, first vice-president of CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU). “Because staffing levels are so low, social isolation for residents is the norm. A situation that leaves residents, their families and staff demoralized on a daily basis. We feel MPPs, like Ms. Lalonde, understand that a higher care level is only enforceable if there is legislation with teeth behind it,” Rodrigues stresses.
Today, the majority of long-term care residents are over 80 years old and have multiple medical diagnoses and unstable and complex health needs. Most can’t move independently and suffer serious cognitive and physical impairments, and have unstable, complex health needs. A small, but growing, minority are younger adults with disabilities and chronic conditions who have distinct needs. Sub-acute and palliative care admissions to long-term care have also grown in recent years.
Overall, residents’ “physical and psychosocial care needs have become so complex that long-term care homes are best characterized as mini-hospitals,” says Rodrigues.
For more information, please contact:
Stella Yeadon CUPE Communications 416-559-9300 [email protected]