We can’t afford to be lenient on seniors’ safety

Letter to the editor of Postmedia regarding “Nurse fired for stealing drugs at seniors home gets job back.”

Ontarians deserve the right to feel safe wherever they live. This statement rings especially true for seniors living in long-term care homes who typically require help with all aspects of their daily lives – from getting dressed in the morning to eating dinner at the end of the day.

Residents’ families place their trust in the nurses, personal support workers and other health professionals providing care to the thousands of seniors living in arguably the most vulnerable stage of their lives. However, in the case of a Kitchener nurse, that sense of trust and safety was compromised.

Long-term care home operators have zero tolerance for poor quality care or abuse, but the leniency we are seeing on this issue from arbitrators prevents operators from being able to enforce a zero tolerance policy and protect residents from harm. Arbitration decisions that require homes to reinstate employees who have harmed or abused residents threatens not only resident safety, but the long-term care sector as a whole.

Our Association looks forward to collaborating with the government and other stakeholders to address the challenges overwhelming our health system and our seniors’ quality of life.

Candace Chartier, CEO
Ontario Long Term Care Association