Improving care to seniors in long-term care must be a priority in the next election, says seniors group

Kingston – January 25, 2018 – Pointing to the waitlists for long-term care beds and the growing needs of seniors living in long-term care, the Ontario Long Term Care Association is calling on political party leaders to commit to making long-term care a priority in the next election. 

“The seniors we care for today have very different needs than those we cared for 10 years ago,” said Candace Chartier, CEO of the Ontario Long Term Care Association. “Nine out of every 10 seniors have some form of cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s. Most are living with multiple chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. But the reality is that funding to care for these seniors hasn’t kept pace with their needs.”

Addressing the Rotary Club of Kingston, Chartier outlined the challenges facing seniors in the Kingston region:

  • There are currently more than 503,000 seniors living in the South East LHIN over the age of 75, a number that is expected to grow by 34% by 2025 and 119% by 2040.
  • The waitlist for long-term care in the South East LHIN reached 1,613 as of October 2017.
  • Three out of the six long-term care homes in Kingston need to be updated and modernized.   

“The demand for care in Kingston has risen dramatically in recent years and continues to rise at an exponential rate,” said Chartier. “Our action plan will ensure that the long-term care services seniors need will be there, when they can no longer live at home.”

The Association’s plan for action, “More Care. Better Care.,” outlines several recommendations to improve access and care, including: 

  • 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 are require renovations or to be rebuilt. 

“The government’s new seniors’ strategy, Aging with Confidence, and its commitment to enhance long-term care across Ontario will go a long way toward improving care, but there is more work to be done,” said Chartier. “We’re committed to advocating on behalf of our seniors to ensure they get the care and services they need. The upcoming election is an important opportunity to advance these issues.”

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 of Public Affairs & Governance
Ontario Long Term Care Association