Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

June 17, 2013 14:53 ET

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

KINGSTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 17, 2013) - Southeastern Ontario which already has one of the highest proportion of seniors province-wide, will see a projected increase in older people with dementia of 150 per cent over the next 25 years.

While like in southeastern Ontario, across the province residents going into nursing homes with complex conditions are increasing, 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 media conference tomorrow (Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 11:00 a.m.) in Kingston at Memorial Hall, City Hall, 216 Ontario Street.

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 Alzheimer's or dementia.

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."

This would mean, says O'Sullivan 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 tomorrow's Kingston media conference.

For more information about CUPE Ontario's Time to Care Campaign go to: www.cupe.on.ca.

Contact Information

  • CUPE Ontario Health Care Workers
    Kelly O'Sullivan
    Chair
    416-529-9600

    Stella Yeadon
    CUPE Communications
    416-559-9300