Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

July 18, 2016 15:00 ET

Staff at Muskoka Shores Nursing Home demand Wynne government act to protect residents

GRAVENHURST, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 18, 2016) - Residents at Muskoka Shore Nursing Home are not getting the level of care they need and the Wynne government must take immediate action, said staff from the home who held a rally Monday to draw attention to the urgent situation.

"We now have only three personal support workers scheduled for every 60 residents and we physically can't provide the level of care they need," said Cindy Seaton, President of CUPE local 2481 who also works at the home. "We've been so worried about their care that I called the Ministry of Labour to make a complaint and was told there's nothing they can do because there are no legal minimum care standards. Since sending out our media advisory Friday I've had a call back to say they will look into things further. We hope this will lead to action."

For the past two decades the complexity of care needs of long-term care residents - the majority of whom are 85 years of age or older - has increased significantly. 73 per cent of residents have some form of Alzheimer's or dementia and most need help with feeding, bathing, toileting and getting out of bed.

"Ontario has the fewest staff working in long term care of any province in Canada," says Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU). "Nursing home residents are a highly vulnerable, aging and frail population. These are people who have given their lives to building our province. Our government has an obligation to ensure they are well cared for in their final years."

In April, MPP France Gélinas introduced Bill 188, the Time to Care Act (Long-Term Care Homes Amendment, Minimum Standard of Daily Care), 2016, a private member's bill that, if passed would amend the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 so that long-term care homes will have to provide its residents with at least four hours a day of nursing and personal support services.

"What's happening at Muskoka Shores is the same thing that's happening in homes across the province," say Candace Rennick, CUPE Ontario's Secretary-Treasurer who used to work in a long-term care home herself. "Inaction by the Wynne government is no longer an option. We are calling on the Premier to set partisanship aside and enact Bill 188 so that all long-term care residents can count on the level of care they need."

Staff from Muskoka Shores Nursing Home marched from the home in Gravenhurst to the park at Hotchkiss and Muskoka Rd. carrying signs calling on the government to help protect the people who live in the home by setting legal minimum care standards that must be followed.

CUPE is Ontario's community union, with more than 250,000 members providing quality public services we all rely on, in every part of the province, every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.

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