Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

June 18, 2013 08:00 ET

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

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 18, 2013) - Southwestern Ontario has one of the highest seniors populations province-wide and will see about a 151 per cent increase in older people with dementia over the next 25 years. 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.

While like in southwestern, across the province residents' care needs 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 (Thursday, June 20, 2013, 11:00 a.m.) at the London Public Library, Tonda Room 251 Dundas St., London.

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, 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 London, June 20 media conference.

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

Contact Information

  • Kelly O'Sullivan
    Chair, CUPE Ontario Health Care Workers

    Stella Yeadon
    CUPE Communications