CLAC Endorses OLTCA's Better Seniors' Care Campaign
Toronto—CLAC strongly endorses the Ontario Long Term Care Association’s (OLTCA) Better Seniors’ Care campaign, outlined by Candace Chartier, the association’s CEO, during an address in October at a luncheon held by the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto.
Since the OLTCA began their campaign, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has promised to increase the funding for front-line care to provide the much-asked for four hours of care per resident per day.
CLAC and many other unions and organizations have been asking for this for several years, and we appreciate the announcement. We are still waiting, however, for specific funding details. The announcement has no timeline or plan for implementation.
The OLTCA’s campaign focusses on three key initiatives that it is asking the Ontario government to undertake:
1. Provide enhanced funding for nursing staff and personal support workers (PSWs). The province must move forward on its promise to provide about 15 million additional care hours, and allow homes to have flexibility in how to apply the additional funding to best address front-line staffing shortages and meet residents' needs.
2. Develop a policy as part of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s funding that incentivizes innovation and technology in the sector.
3. Provide a schedule of when each long term care home will have fully funded in-home behavioural support teams to help caregivers deal with residents suffering from complex mental health issues, addictions, dementia, or other neurological conditions. CLAC is requesting that these teams provide hands-on care and support, rather than serving as advisory bodies.
“The people of Ontario deserve much better support for our seniors and those who care for them,” says Hank Beekhuis, CLAC national representative. “We stand with the OLTCA and other like-minded organizations and unions in calling on the government to take action. We’ve ignored this problem for far too long, and with more and more seniors entering long term care—many with advanced stages of dementia—it’s only going to get worse unless the government acts now.”
CLAC has advocated for increased funding and improvements to hands-on care for years. The union represents thousands of PSWs, nursing, and other staff in long term care homes across the province.
“If you’re a citizen of Ontario, you should be concerned with the state of care for our seniors,” says Beekhuis. “These are our parents and grandparents, and before long all of us will need care. The time to act is now. Unless we all voice our concern, our seniors and those who care for them will continue to languish.”