As bad as things are in our long-term care sector, the real solution is better home care:
- Almost all Ontarians agree that they want to stay in their own home as they age
- Home care saves the system money. Even for a person with the highest needs, home care costs an average of $103 per day. Compare that to $182 per day in a nursing home, or $1,000 per day in a hospital.
It’s so obvious – yet investments by past NDP, Liberal and PC governments have not come close to meeting the need.
In fact, we now face a human resources crisis in home care, made worse by COVID. We don’t have nearly enough staff to meet the home care needs of seniors. In fact, less than half of current home care needs are being met. The system is not fulfilling 5.4 out of every 10 calls for home care service.
And what happens to those unmet needs? They get thrown back on to the hospital system, resulting in emergency room backups, hallway medicine, and unacceptably long wait times.
It’s lose-lose all the way.
CARP demands this action:
- Ontario must immediately recruit, train, hire and retain tens of thousands of personal support workers and nurses to care for older adults in their own homes. We estimate that Ontario needs more than 30,000 net new home care workers over the next five years.
- As part of that effort, Ontario must accelerate immigration and licensing for internationally-trained nurses and PSWs.
- Private home care can play an important role in supplementing the care provided by the provincial health system. Ontario can help make it more affordable by exempting home care services and other care services from HST, just as it exempts services provided by medical practitioners.