Sector positioned to alleviate
strain on health-care system: SweatmanOLTCA president says sector needs to continue role as
a solution-based body
Grace Sweatman, the new president
of the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA), says the sector
is positioned to alleviate the strain on the health-care system,
particularly when it comes to reducing emergency-room wait times.
Sweatman, who also serves as CEO of Christie Gardens,
a Toronto long-term care home, says the sector needs to continue
in its role as a solution-oriented body, which will help drive it
forward in the mission to reduce stress on the health-care sector.
“If we’re talking about the sector
going forward, we (need to look at) the tremendous bulge of the
senior community at a time when the demands on the hospitals and
other providers are absolutely stretched to the maximum,”
“I believe that a really healthy, well-functioning
long-term care sector can be a major contributor to solutions.”
Sweatman notes that the long-term care sector
is “flexible, available and willing” to reduce the strain
on the health-care system caused by bottlenecking in hospital emergency
This means being a part of the solution by continuing
to treat people in long-term care homes, rather than taking them
to hospital when situations arise, as well as caring for people
in need of transitional care.
Additionally, Sweatman points out that the long-term
care sector can be a valuable partner in terms of a community-based
solution to caring for seniors needing simple care.
“The long-term care sector can be a partner
for rehabilitation for those persons, or for (people with) more
complex care needs that still require attention,” she says.
Sweatman says what excites her most about her
role as president of the OLTCA is that she can be a positive influence
for the sector and for the senior population.
“I can be an influence to help move the
sector forward as a very effective, broad system partner,”
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