Resident safety in long-term care has been at the forefront of CARP’s advocacy work and remains one of our top priorities. Nine reports of resident-on-resident abuse in long-term care are reported each day. The number of residents with cognitive impairments is increasing and leaves these residents particularly vulnerable to abuse, neglect and insufficient care.
CARP: If elected, what will you do improve resident safety in long-term care? In particular, will you commit to introducing mandatory staffing levels? If so, what will those staffing levels be?
NDP: Too many seniors in Ontario are not getting the care they deserve. Under the Liberals and the Conservatives before them, over 33,000 seniors are waiting for long-term care. And too many families are worried that their loved ones are not getting the care they need. We must change seniors care for the better.
Andrea Horwath is the only leader who will launch a full public inquiry into long-term care within 100 days of being elected as Ontario’s next Premier. We will find and fix the problems in long-term care in order to make every home safer for residents – and to give every senior the comfort and dignity they deserve.
Andrea is also the only leader committed to restoring minimum standards of care in long-term care. For years, frontline health care workers have called for a minimum standard of four hours of care per resident.
Andrea will restore this legislated minimum standard of care for all long-term care homes. Every resident must get the care that they need, every day. Only the NDP will ensure that long-term care homes are funded and mandated to provide a daily minimum of four hours of hands-on care on average for each long-term care resident.
We will also make it a right of spouses not to be separated against their will in long-term care. Couples who have spent their entire lives together should never be separated by a system that doesn’t work for them.
PC: Resident safety in long-term care is vitally important. Our province’s seniors deserve to be treated with dignity and respect at all times, including in their long-term care homes. We’ll make sure that seniors feel safe and protected in their long-term care facilities. We’ll continue regular inspections and ensure that every operator running a long-term care home is abiding by the terms of their contract, which includes –first and foremost – the safety of their residents. In addition, we’ll build more long-term care facilities.
Liberal: Long-term care homes across the province offer care for people who can no longer live independently and require 24/7 nursing care. Having a long-term care bed available when it is needed can provide the appropriate care for a patient leaving hospital, or for a senior who is no longer able to remain in the community, making the health system more efficient.
We are committed to ensuring our loved ones’ safety and well-being through a rigorous inspection system and regulatory framework that we are continuously working to improve.
In addition to regular, ongoing support of homes across the province, every long-term care home in Ontario undergoes a comprehensive resident quality inspection each year at to ensure compliance with the Long-Term Care Homes Act. The ministry also inspects homes based on complaints from residents, their family members, staff or the public, and follows up on issues that may be identified in an inspection. The results from every inspection are posted online for the public to see, as well as in long-term care homes. We are also partnering with the Michener Institute on a Personal Support Worker Registry that will improve transparency for patients and families, and give them the peace of mind that the people who are delivering their essential care, have the necessary training to care for them and their loved ones.
While the vast majority of long-term care homes are in compliance with provincial rules and regulations, any home with reoccurring issues will not be tolerated. With the passing of the Strengthening Quality and Accountability for Patients’ Act, new enforcement tools, including financial penalties and new offences for operators who repeatedly do not comply, are now available to ensure the trust we place in home operators to care for our loved ones is upheld.
In November 2017, as part of Aging with Confidence: Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors, we announced that 5,000 new long-term care beds would be created by 2022 and over 30,000 over the next decade. These new beds are in addition to the 30,000 existing beds that are being redeveloped.
Since fall 2017, Ontario has been consulting widely with the public on this strategy. Many associations, organizations and community groups have expressed a strong need for more culturally appropriate long-term care homes that provide services and respond to the needs of specific cultural and ethnic groups.
In February 2018, Ontario invited existing and new providers to apply for new long-term care beds. New beds that serve specific cultural needs, including those serving francophone and Indigenous populations, will be prioritized. The government will announce successful proponents in spring 2018. The Province will also prioritize reducing wait times for those in hospitals or in the community who would benefit most by long-term care.
The needs of long-term care residents are becoming more complex. That is why we are investing $300 million over three years in new funding, starting with $50 million in 2018–19 to hire a registered nurse for every home, and setting a goal of increasing the provincial average to four hours of daily care per resident by 2022.
This will provide residents with more direct, one-on-one patient care, including nursing, personal support and therapeutic care. It will also ensure that every home will have staff with specialized training in behavioural supports and in palliative and end-of-life care.
Green: We need to enforce regular inspections in long-term care facilities to ensure residents are content and safe.
We support increasing the staff-to-resident ratio so that seniors receive the best care possible. We also need to ensure that staff have the proper resources and training to appropriately address the needs of residents that require complex care such as mental illness and dementia.
Want to learn more about what the Ontario parties have to say about issues affecting older Canadians?