By Michelle Ferrera

This province-wide campaign is sponsored by the Ontario Long Term Care Association, it aims to take advantage of the first new Government in 15 years, and impact the Ontario budget next spring.  A letter-writing campaign to  MPP’s by resident’s and staff of LTC, families of those in-or needing-LTC, as well as anyone who realizes the mess we are in because folks in power are not taking action, is underway.

Currently: more than 32,000 people in Ontario are waiting for a LTC bed-this statistic is rising at a rate of 15% per year.  These folks may occupy hospital beds, thus creating a logjam for regular hospital care, or they may be at home with caregivers- 1 in 3 people will be a caregiver to someone and the  repercussions to  care providers is a health care crisis in the making. The cost of a bed in hospital is $750. /day-the cost of a bed in LTC is $175. /day…which makes more sense?

The typical LTC resident is older, frailer, and with more complex healthcare needs.  97% need help with simple activities such as getting out of bed, eating, going to the bathroom. 97% have 2 or more chronic health conditions.  90% are cognitively impaired, with one in three severely impaired.  Right now, 214,000 Canadians have dementia…by 2020 it will be 250,000 and by 2036 it will be 466,000   Ignoring LTC needs makes no sense whatsoever-we will all be old one day-don’t you want appropriate healthcare and supports for yourself and your family?

More care with more beds is urgently needed.  More care with more staff is urgently needed. Better care with Behaviour Supports Ontario in every home will reduce the impact of Dementia in all LTC homes. Better care by updating and modernizing LTC homes is urgently needed.  New systems by the Ministry would see renovated or newly built homes able to provide care in local communities faster and easier.  What can you do?  Write to your MPP and request better funding and support for LTC Homes-we owe it to our seniors’ to provide BETTER CARE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.