Citizens With Disabilities - Ontario
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Over 50,000 Tell MPPs - Long Term Care Needs More Than A Band aid In Next Week's Budget

MARKHAM, ON, March 18 /CNW/ - MPPs have received a clear message that long term care needs 'more than a band aid' in next week's provincial budget.

Over 50,000 residents, families and their supporters have sent postcards to all 107 MPPs supporting the Ontario Long Term Care Association's (OLTCA) request for an additional $513 million so homes can add staff and enhance services to provide residents with the care they need, when they need it, in their home. OLTCA member homes provided the postcards as an opportunity for others to express their support for government to fund the care and services residents need.

"This is a strong expression of concern from Family Councils, Residents' Councils and others over continuing to see staff run off their feet trying to help residents dress, get to their meals and to the bathroom," said OLTCA Executive Director Janet Lambert. "It mirrors the concerns over incontinence care and other issues that have been publicly expressed by others."

The additional funding OLTCA is requesting will allow homes to add staff to provide some 20 more minutes of daily care for residents. The additional staff, in combination with the requested increased funding for incontinence care supplies, will enhance incontinence care. OLTCA's request also includes funding for additional staff to run programs and prepare meals as well as funding to increase access to clinical dietician consultations and to stem the four year erosion in housekeeping, laundry and maintenance services.

"Addressing these key issues will make a real difference for residents throughout the day, every day," Ms. Lambert said. "This is the difference over 50,000 Ontarians have now asked government to support in this budget instead of, as in recent budgets, picking a single issue and applying a band aid."

Ms. Lambert pointed out that the benefits of the additional staffing would be widely felt. It would reduce staff rushing to provide care which can lead to frustration resulting in aggressive behaviours. It would enable homes to provide more of the care residents need and thus reduce transfers to emergency rooms.

"Everyone is looking to next week's budget to see if government has heard their message," she said.

OLTCA represents the private, not-for-profit, charitable and municipal operators of 430 long term care homes that provide care and services to some 50,000 residents throughout Ontario.

Backgrounder

OLTCA's Operating Funding Request 2008

The Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) has requested government to increase long term care operating funding by $513 million in the 2008-2009 provincial budget to support a comprehensive solution to staffing and other key resident care and service issues. This funding would enable homes to:

Implications For Government's Emergency Wait Time Strategy

Overall, the solution OLTCA has proposed will enable homes to provide more of the care residents need and increase the confidence of both physicians and families in the home's ability to provide this care. In terms of specific benefits:

For further information: Media Contact: Gilbert Heffern, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, (905) 4..., ext. 25, (647) 999-8341 (cell), gheffern@oltca.com

Reproduced from http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/March2008/18/c5198.html

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