Long-term care advocate calls for immediate investments to add more beds and hire more front-line staff in Ontario homes

Toronto – October 25, 2017 – More beds, modernized homes, and more staff are needed if Ontario is going to keep up with the growing needs of seniors, says the Ontario Long Term Care Association. Unveiling its 2018 Budget and Pre-Election report at a speech in Toronto, the Association pointed to the growing needs of seniors living in long-term care and the increasing waiting list to access these services, calling for government action. 

“This year, more than 32,000 seniors remain on a waiting list to get access to long-term care services – a number that has grown substantially from last year’s 26,000 and could grow to 84,000 in the next 10 years if nothing is done,” said Candace Chartier, Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Long Term Care Association. “On top of the growing demand for care, the needs of residents continue to grow. Our plan addresses the complex care needs of Ontario’s seniors and the growing demand for care. The time for action is now.”

Released at the Economic Club of Canada, the Association presented several key recommendations to ensure the province’s long-term care system is sustainable and set up for continued success. The 15-page plan, More Care. Better Care., helps prepare the province for the number of seniors that will need to access residential care and will improve the quality of the care provided to these seniors. These recommendations include:

  • More care with more beds: Building 10,000 new long-term care beds over the next five years.
  • More care with more staff: Funding for additional registered nursing staff and personal support workers which would provide more than 3.2 million more care hours to seniors living in long-term care. 
  • Better care with more dementia care: Expanding in-home Behavioural Supports Ontario teams to every long-term care home in Ontario. 
  • Better care with modernized homes: Taking steps to modernize the 40% of long-term care homes that require renovations or to be rebuilt. 

The Association also highlighted the urgent need for more enhanced support for smaller long-term care homes throughout the province, who play a vital role in their communities but have increased challenges when it comes to maintain operations.

A recent Nanos survey conducted on behalf of the Association found that more than half of Ontarians are not confident the province is investing what it should so that long-term care homes can continue to provide quality care, and the majority also said they felt it was urgent that the long-term care needs of Ontario’s seniors be addressed in the next election.

“Today, nine out of 10 long-term care residents have some form of cognitive impairment and one in three are severely affected. The vast majority of residents also have multiple chronic conditions that have seriously compromised their health,” said Chartier. “It is crucial that we address the needs of the sector today so that we can provide better seniors’ care to these residents, as well as to sustain and improve for future generations.”

About the Ontario Long Term Care Association 
The Ontario Long Term Care Association is the largest association of long-term care providers in Canada and the only association that represents the full mix of long-term care operators — private, not-for-profit, charitable, and municipal. The Association represents nearly 70% of Ontario’s 630 long-term care homes, located in communities across the province. Our members provide care and accommodation services to more than 70,000 residents annually. 

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For more information, please contact: 
Adrian Kupesic
Director, Public Affairs & Governance
Ontario Long Term Care Association