What is Long Term Care Awareness Day?
This designated day serves as a platform to elevate awareness around long-term care, and to connect all members of the community who wish to work toward a system that truly supports caring for our aging population.
Long-term care (LTC) is meant to be where our aging family and friends receive quality care when their needs can no longer be accommodated at home. For its residents, it is a home, a community and a respectful caregiver.
You may not want to or need to think about this right now, but often someone you know–your friend, neighbour, parents, grandparents, and other older adults–will need LTC one day.
As our population ages, Ontarians need a long-term care system that can provide the highest quality of care. Concerned Friends works hard every day to address issues relating to LTC and to help people who are currently navigating the system.
The quality and safety of long-term care is affected by government priorities and public awareness. That is why we are marking one special day a year to raise more awareness, gather more voices, and gather more friends!
What Can Friends of LTC Do?
Here are some things you can do on November 22nd:
1. Join us for a free webinar on Envisioning the Future of Long-Term
Care! Details and registration HERE.
2. Check out our LTCAD Action Guide to learn more about LTC in Ontario.
3. Share this page with friends, family and colleagues.
4. Follow us on your social media channels.
5. Share an image below along with our hashtags on your social media.
6. Celebrate a senior living in LTC!
7. Send a message to your local MPP and Ontario’s Premier.
8. Become a Member or Supporter of Concerned Friends.
As my elected official, I am asking you to actively and urgently advocate for the following improvements to Long Term Care Homes in Ontario (LTCH):
Increase accountability through proactive inspections and aggressive enforcement. Existing mechanisms for accountability of LTCHs are not being used. The new LTCH Act re-introduced annual unscheduled and comprehensive inspections. To date, this has not been fully implemented. Our LTCH residents are at risk. Demand annual inspections, and strict follow-up and penalties for non-compliance.
Address staffing issues through a bold strategy to recruit, retain and enhance LTCH staff. High staff turnover and vacancy rates put residents at risk and significantly impact quality of life. Salaries in LTCHs continue to be not competitive with hospitals. A bold and comprehensive recruitment and retention strategy needs to be implemented to address vacancies and the need for more qualified staff to care for residents with increasingly complex needs.
Increase quality and safety of care. Residents in LTCHs comprise one of the most vulnerable populations in Canada. LTCHs must be funded for enhanced staffing models associated with quality. Each of the 627 homes in the province should have a resident medical doctor, increased number of nursing staff, and access to a full range of allied health practitioners. Minimum staff resident ratios must be established and funded.
Expand availability of LTCHs in collaboration with municipal and not-for-profit providers. Ontario’s population is aging. Currently, over 40,000 people are on the waitlist for LTCHs. The median wait time for a LTCH bed from community is 188 days and from hospital is 114 days. Demand for long-term care beds will double within the next ten years. The government has funded some initial expansion of long-term care homes. Unfortunately they are sticking to outdated models of long-term care, funding large institutions as opposed to more home-like and evidence-based options like small group homes and small 8-person units. Furthermore expansion must be in the not-for-profit or municipal sector in order to maximize accountability for public funds and ensure all health dollars go to resident care and not profit lines.
Following decades of neglect to the LTC system, the time is now for fundamental long-term care reform. How will you use your voice as an elected official to represent the interests of current and future residents of Long-Term Care in Ontario?
Download and share one of our social media templates. Use the information on this page to share your thoughts and your commitment to becoming a friend of Long-Term Care! You can also share this page with friends, family and colleagues. (Right-click on desired image and choose “download image” or “save image”)