Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

June 25, 2013 10:23 ET

Media Advisory: Northeastern Ontario nursing home residents deserve more care hours; Inspections alone won't improve care

Rally and media conference begin at 11 a.m., June 27, North Bay

NORTH BAY, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 25, 2013) - Northeastern Ontario already has a higher proportion of seniors compared to the Ontario average of 14 per cent. By 2036 the number of people in northeastern Ontario 65 years old and over, is expected to increase from 18 per cent to 30 per cent. Dementia rates are estimated to climb by 127 per cent over the same period.

Like in northeastern Ontario, across the province residents' care needs are increasing. But the Ontario government is "willfully ignoring the evidence of over a hundred research studies that identify how to make care better and safer," charge long-term care (LTC) staff holding a rally/media conference on Thursday, June 27, 2013, 11:00 a.m. at 400 Olive Street, North Bay.

Since 1992, the complexity of care needs for Ontario residents in long-term care has increased significantly. The majority of residents are 85 years of age and older and 73 per cent of them have some form of dementia or Alzheimer's. During that time provincial funding to increase care and staffing levels has not kept pace the complex needs of residents, says Kelly O'Sullivan with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.

Ontario funds LTC at a lower level than just about any other Canadian province. The result is that there isn't enough staff to provide residents who need help with feeding, bathing, toileting and getting out of bed, the care time they need each day.

Although the Ontario government recently re-announced that inspections of LTC homes would increase, O'Sullivan says that "more inspections alone aren't enough. We have no issue with inspections. But what we actually need is a provincial standard of about 4 hours of direct care each day."

A set care standard in law, says O'Sullivan would mean more hands to provide the care. More personal support workers, more care aides and registered practical nurses to do direct care for those residents who need help with feeding, bathing, toileting, dressing and getting in out of bed.

"We are hopeful that if done properly and front-line staff are included in inspections - the health ministry will be able to document that there aren't enough staff to meet the care needs of residents," says O'Sullivan who is one of the speakers at the North Bay, June 27 rally and media conference.

For more information about CUPE Ontario's Time to Care Campaign go to:

Contact Information

  • CUPE Ontario Health Care Workers
    Kelly O'Sullivan

    CUPE Communications
    Stella Yeadon