PETERBOROUGH, ON (November 1, 2017) – A busload of long-term care workers are heading to Queen’s Park tomorrow to be in the gallery for the vote on Bill 33, the Time to Care Act. If passed, the bill will legislate a minimum care standard of four hours a day for seniors living in Ontario’s nursing homes.
“The seniors we care for are counting on all parties to support this critical bill,” says Andrea Legault, a personal support worker at Fairhaven for the last 19 years. “We have five to ten minutes to help a resident with their morning routine. That includes waking, washing, dressing and use of the commode. Imagine if you only had eight minutes for all those activities in the morning. Then imagine you are 87 years old with mobility issues – it’s just not right.”
“The hardest thing for me is the residents that we literally force into incontinence because we don’t have enough staff to get to them when they call for help to the bathroom,” she says.
Right now, the only guarantees long-term care residents have in Ontario, are that there will be one nurse on-site in the home 24 hours-a-day, and that they will get two baths a week. Canada has the lowest care levels among countries with equivalent economies, and Ontario has the lowest in Canada.
There are more than 78,000 people living in Ontario long-term care homes. The majority are over 85, almost three quarters have some form of Alzheimer’s or dementia, and the vast majority have mobility issues.
“It’s not acceptable that our loved ones, the people who spent their lives building our province and caring for our communities, are now being neglected in their final years. We are very grateful to the NDP Health Critic for bringing this bill forward, but this shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” says Candace Rennick, Secretary Treasurer of CUPE Ontario and a former long-term care worker who has been working with Gélinas to bring the Time to Care Act forward. “We are counting on all parties to step up tomorrow, and vote yes for the Time to Care Act. Seniors across Ontario are counting on them.”
The second reading vote on Bill 33 is expected to take place around 3 pm on Thursday, November 2, 2017.
The bus for Queen’s Park will be leaving at 10:30am from the Sobeys’ parking lot on Lansdowne St. with stops for pick ups along highway 115.
For more information, contact: Sarah Jordison, CUPE Communications, 416-578-5638 www.cupe.on.ca