End of days for multi-bed wards
Ontario Long-Term Care Association (OLTCA) executive director Karen Sullivan believes the government’s plan to re-develop thousands of long-term care beds throughout the province would spell the end of four-bed wards.
Sullivan’s comments appeared in a news release in response to an announcement made July 31 by Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman promising to redevelop 35,000 older long-term care beds over the next decade.
Starting in 2008, the ministry will work with Ontario’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) in order to prioritize which homes should receive the bed renewal each year.
According to a ministry press release, the redevelopment project will allow for the provision of quality resident care in a comfortable environment that feels like home. Residents with diverse physical, psychological, social and cultural needs will be supported with well-coordinated interdisciplinary care.
“This is welcome news for our members who operate some 250 of the approximately 300 older homes across Ontario and their efforts to provide the level of accommodation that residents and their families expect and deserve,” Sullivan said in a news release. “It is also welcome news for the 35,000 current and future residents of these homes.”
OLTCA has been advocating for a capital renewal and redevelopment program for older homes for a number of years to ensure equitable access to physical comfort, privacy and dignity for all long term care residents.
“In some areas of the province there were indications that this was affecting decisions to accept discharge from hospital to a long term care home,” Sullivan said. “We now look forward to working with government to help resolve the implementation challenges and issues.”
The government says the renewal strategy will also result in:
- Ensuring not-for-profit homes continue to play an important role now and in the years ahead in delivery of long-term care services
- Equitable distribution of up-to-date long-term care beds across the province
- More residents getting access to the services that most meet their needs
- Making more affordable and higher quality 'basic accommodations' available for seniors who cannot afford private rooms
- Attracting new capital investment to Ontario's long-term care homes.