Better Senior Care To Include Around-The-Clock Nursing
New Funding And Staff Will Mean More Nurses, More Baths, Increased Comfort Allowance
TORONTO -- Seniors will receive around-the-clock nursing care, more baths and enhanced comfort allowances because of new funding and staff for long-term care facilities, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced today.
"This announcement will make a real difference to residents of long-term care homes right across the province," said Premier McGuinty. "It will help ensure that seniors get the personalized care they deserve. That means better care for residents, and peace of mind for their families."
"These are the people who raised us -- our parents and grandparents. They were always there for us, and now they need us to be here for them."
The Premier, accompanied by Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman, announced $191 million in new annual funding for long-term care at the opening of Kensington Gardens North, a new home with 150 long-term care beds.
"We're taking important steps to ensure that all long-term care residents live in comfort and dignity," said Smitherman. "We are making a special effort to improve the quality of life of the lowest income and most vulnerable residents."
The new investment will improve quality of life for long-term care residents by funding the following initiatives:
- Hiring 600 Nurses and 1,400 Front-Line Staff -- to provide a new standard of care, including having a registered nurse available at all times and ensuring residents receive at least two baths a week.
- Additional Services -- to assist patients moving from hospitals to long-term care facilities, for a website and public reporting system and to enhance care standards.
In addition to this investment, the government is:
- Increasing the Comfort Allowance -- to put more discretionary income into the hands of low-income residents to purchase items including clothes, glasses, hearing aids, books and gifts. This is the first increase in almost 20 years.
- Freezing the Accommodation Costs -- for the first time since 1993, residents' accommodations costs will not increase during a fiscal year.
"We are thrilled," said Donna Rubin, CEO of the Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors. "In its spring Budget, the government confirmed its commitment to long-term care. This funding represents a sizable investment that will make a real and meaningful difference in the lives of the seniors we care for in our member homes. With these new dollars, our members will be able to improve staffing, increase care levels and enhance programs and living environments for residents."
"The government is to be commended for continuing to demonstrate its commitment to enhance both resident care and public confidence in care delivery," said Karen Sullivan, Executive Director of the Ontario Long-Term Care Association. "The increased care funding, recent initiatives such as the renewed support for Family and Residents Councils and the new projects being developed will help improve the care that residents need and deserve."
"We're making a real, positive change for our seniors," said Premier McGuinty. "By ensuring they remain an important part of the communities they helped build, we're providing them with the quality of life and the dignity and respect they deserve."