Toronto, Ontario (May 20, 2020) – Yesterday, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, announced that the provincial government will be launching a commission into Ontario’s long-term care system beginning in September.
The independent, non-partisan commission is expected to provide the government with guidance on how to improve the long-term care system and better protect residents and staff from any future outbreaks.
“The circumstances leading to this commission have been deeply distressing,” says Jane Sinclair, Board Chair for AdvantAge Ontario. “Long-term care homes have been hit extremely hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to express our sincere condolences to the residents, families, and staff who have lost a loved one or who have suffered the symptoms of this terrible virus.”
AdvantAge Ontario fully supports this commission and is committed to working with sector partners to examine and learn from the events that have unfolded in long-term care related to COVID-19.
The Association is urging however that the work of this commission not delay immediate action that is needed to help homes that are continuing to battle this pandemic.
“Long-term care homes are at the epicentre of this crisis, which will continue for some time. We need to act immediately to address longstanding system issues such as understaffing and other health human resource challenges, as well as barriers to redeveloping older homes so that we are in a better position to prevent future outbreaks,” added Lisa Levin, CEO of AdvantAge Ontario.
“Residents living in long-term care homes need to feel safe, and their families need to be able to trust that their loved ones are protected from any future outbreaks. This commission is important step to ensure that we get a better understanding of the impacts and responses to COVID-19 in our sector,” said Levin.
The government will be finalizing details of the commission over the next few months. AdvantAge Ontario looks forward to contributing to this work and is hopeful that membership includes the full spectrum of long-term care providers including non-profit, charitable and municipal homes. The Association will also be encouraging a phased approach to the commission’s work that also looks at other at-risk congregate care settings for seniors such as retirement homes and assisted living in supportive housing.
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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