Toronto, Ontario (July 15, 2020) – AdvantAge Ontario welcomes today’s announcement by the Ministry of Long-Term Care (MOLTC) to modernize the Long-Term Care Development Program. This revised program supports the Association’s call for operators to access additional construction funding to build new long-term care (LTC) homes and redevelop existing homes in order to provide a safer, more pleasant environment for staff and residents.
“In Ontario, long-term care homes were the epicentre of COVID-19, and one of the early findings was that residents and staff in older homes, due to their physical design, faced a higher risk of outbreak,” says Lisa Levin, CEO of AdvantAge Ontario. “The additional project funding announced today will provide the support that many homes need to redevelop to meet modern design standards. It will also assist groups who wish to build new homes throughout the province.”
The physical structure of LTC homes is a key area to focus on to improve safety. Older homes in Ontario that must be redeveloped have shared rooms (including three- and four-bed wards), shared bathroom facilities, small congregate dining spaces, and smaller staff work areas. These create barriers in the ability to effectively contain and prevent the spread of viruses, including COVID-19, to residents.
Under the revised model, homes will now receive additional construction funding over a 25-year period based on their classification into one of four market categories: Large Urban, Urban, Mid-size, and Rural. Homes will also have access to a development grant based on a proportion of their total project costs. This revised model moves the program from a one-size-fits-all approach to one that considers the regional differences that LTC homes face when developing or redeveloping.
Part of today’s announcement includes a commitment to funding for air conditioning in all LTC homes, which the Association has long advocated for and strongly supports. Ontario seniors must be able to live in comfortable environments with air conditioning being a mandatory funded requirement.
“We are pleased to learn about this improved program to support our member homes,” says Jane Sinclair, Board Chair, AdvantAge Ontario. “This is one piece of the puzzle that will help make a difference for staff and residents in long-term care throughout the province.”
AdvantAge Ontario has been the trusted voice for senior care for 100 years and is the only provincial association representing the full spectrum of the senior care continuum. Our nearly 400 members are located across the province and include not-for-profit, charitable, and municipal long-term care homes, seniors’ housing, assisted living in supportive housing and community service agencies.
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