Public care homes better: report

Originally published by CNEWS on January 24th, 2011. To go to the CNEWS website please click here

OTTAWA – For-profit, long-term care homes are less likely to provide good care to seniors, according to a new report by the Institute for Research on Public Policy.

Most long-term care is publicly funded but there are different ways to run the homes, said Margaret McGregor, the report’s lead researcher.

McGregor says the government should legislate minimum staffing levels to ensure better care.

The report looked at research done in the U.S. and Canada to evaluate whether the quality of care was different between for-profit, non-profit and publicly run facilities.

The research used different measures of quality care, but most evaluations were based on staffing levels, the number of pressure ulcers on residents, rates of complaints and regulatory deficiencies noted by inspectors.

“On balance, care quality in for-profit facilities tended to be of inferior quality,” McGregor said.

Susan Eng, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP), which represents retired Canadians, says she’s also concerned about the quality of care. But, she says, care homes are already strictly regulated and her members worry more about staff competence than about who runs them.

“We have to disconnect the analysis from who owns the home to what are the proper, objective quality measurements that we should all have access to. It should be transparent and we should all be able to rate them,” she said.

Click here to read summary of the report
Click here to read the full report


Keywords: public, long-term care, homes