Ontario Long Term Care Association statement on quality in long-term care

Toronto – November 5, 2018 – Every day our personal support workers, nurses and other professionals care for tens of thousands of seniors with complex needs. As an association that represents every type of long-term care home in the province, we see the improving outcomes in quality that our members have achieved and continue to strive for.

Make no mistake, there is no place in our homes for poor quality care or abuse. Though these incidents are not the norm in long-term care, there is not a single home or provider that condones this type of behaviour. Each and every long-term care professional works tirelessly to ensure seniors get the highest quality of care in all of our homes across Ontario. The large majority of seniors living in long-term care are receiving the care they need and deserve. We are working hard to ensure this holds true for 100 per cent of the residents in our care. 

In fact, the vast majority of homes across Ontario meet or exceed ministry standards for safety and quality. The ministry’s own data indicates that the vast majority of homes are “low risk” (more than 80 per cent) and that Ontario is performing better than other provinces in key areas of quality. Recent data analysis by the Association also shows that over the last five years, homes have made great strides in improving care outcomes for their residents. In particular, they have made outstanding improvements in reducing the use of restraints, pain management, and reducing inappropriate antipsychotic medications. 

It is also important for the public to understand that homes cannot make any profits from care funding. Funding for nursing care, resident programming and food is strictly monitored and expenditures related to these items are audited to ensure compliance with regulations, none of which can contribute to profit. 

The women and men working in long-term care today are doing an incredible job caring for the most clinically complex demographic in our health care system. Ninety per cent of residents in long-term care exhibit some level of cognitive impairment or dementia. Practically every resident requires help with activities of daily living – such as getting out of bed, eating and support with going to the bathroom, in addition to having two or more chronic health conditions, such as heart disease and arthritis.  

The number one priority of long-term care homes is the safety of their residents, and our members will continue to work closely with their dedicated staff to uphold the highest standards of care. However, government funding for staffing and infrastructure have not kept pace with the needs of our seniors. That's why we're calling for new investments so that we can hire more frontline care staff for our homes. It's also why we've called for new investments to support the renovating and rebuilding of upwards of 300 homes, so they can be modernized to meet current standards and provide greater comfort and safety for residents.
It is crucial that we address the needs of the sector today so that we can provide better seniors’ care now and in the future. We remain committed to advocating on behalf of our seniors to ensure they get the care and services they need.

- Candace Chartier 

Candace Chartier is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Long Term Care Association, a registered nurse and former operator of several long-term care homes. 

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. We represent 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:
Judy Irwin
Senior Manager, Communications