Like this 105 year old woman, many Canadians who are seeking placement into long term care homes (LTC) are finding the wait times extremely long. This is no surprise when long term care facilities have high occupancy levels with long wait lists across the country.
According to Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, occupancy levels in Ontario LTC homes are at an average of 98.9%, which has led to a total of over 20, 000 people on the wait lists at the end of 2011. However, the wait lists consist of seniors with varying degrees of needs, where some are still fairly independent and need light care whereas others need urgent care. As a result, long term care may not be the best for everyone. There should be other options available, such as home care. Many seniors prefer home care because it allows them to live within their homes while maintaining a degree of independence. While overall investment in health care is needed, more attention towards home care may be required as well as greater awareness of this option.