A new report released by the Ontario Health Coalition shows that 95% of long-term care workers are in understaffed homes that can’t meet the basic needs of residents.
This report (which can be found here) is deeply disturbing but is, unfortunately, in line with what we already know.
“The fact is, we’re not even able to have an open discussion about quality of life for these residents when their basic care needs like feeding, hydrating and repositioning aren’t being met,” says Marissa Lennox, CARP’s Chief Policy Officer. “How can staff concern themselves with providing enriching entertainment, activities or physiotherapy (all things residents deserve) when homes can’t provide the bare minimum standards of acceptable care?”
How many more damning reports do we need to see before action is taken to protect residents in long-term care? Staffing shortages are not new, but when 95% of workers say their home has experienced severe staffing shortages, and when 53% report such shortages every day, it’s no wonder we’ve seen the kind of devastation we have during COVID-19 .
“We need an immediate strategy to not only attract talent to this line of work, but to retain them as well,” continues Lennox. “That must include better wages, providing full time hours, training and education, and ensuring a healthy work environment for care staff.”