High Praise for Concrete Action to Address Understaffing in Long-Term Care Homes

Toronto, Ontario (November 2, 2020) – Today’s announcement by the Ontario government that it plans to fund an average of four hours of care is tremendous news for current and future seniors living in the province’s long-term care homes.

“This is a bold step on a big issue,” says Lisa Levin, CEO of AdvantAge Ontario. “Almost without exception, any report or study looking at the challenges in providing safe, quality care to seniors living in long-term care has pointed to the need for more staff. There is absolutely nothing that could have a more direct and positive impact on the quality and enjoyment of life for residents than more staff.”

Moving to a provincial average of four hours of care has been a long-standing advocacy priority for AdvantAge Ontario ever since the target was identified in the government-commissioned Sharkey Report on long-term care in 2008. Since that time, many groups have called on successive governments to take this action, most recently Ontario’s Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission in its early recommendations released last week.

“Seniors are staying in their own homes for as long as they can. If they reach the stage of needing long-term care, they are coming into our homes with increasingly complex care needs and behaviours, so this additional support is welcomed and urgently needed,” adds Levin.

“More staff means more care, and that is what truly matters. The dedicated and tremendously hardworking people caring for residents in our homes have told us over and over that what they want most is to have more time to spend with each resident to get to know them and have meaningful conversations,” adds Levin.

The Association and its members will be watching for details on the funding to support this commitment in Thursday’s provincial budget.

“This announcement holds great potential to improve care for Ontario’s seniors. We look forward to working closely with the government on the funding and implementation details,” says Levin.

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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Debbie Humphreys
Senior Director, Corporate and Public Affairs