‘Time for action is now’ for modernizing long-term care homes

NIAGARA FALLS — Just one day after Statistics Canada revealed the number of seniors in this country has exceeded the number of young people aged 14 and under for the first time ever, an association representing hundreds of long-term care homes in Ontario issued an urgent plea for the province to make the care of seniors a priority.

At the Bella Senior Care Residence in Niagara Falls on Wednesday, Sept. 30, Ontario Long-Term Care Association chief executive officer Candace Chartier said too many seniors are living in homes that need to be modernized and rebuilt.

With the number of seniors in Ontario expected to skyrocket in the coming years, and dementia cases set to explode in number, immediate investment in long-term care homes is critical, said Chartier.

“The time for action is now,” she told This Week. “We need our elected officials to make better care for seniors a priority.”

Chartier, whose association represents 437 municipal, non-profit, profit and charitable homes with 70,000 residents, said the needs of seniors living in homes have risen dramatically in recent years. In addition to multiple chronic conditions such as kidney disease, heart disease and emphysema requiring much more one-on-one staff time, today’s nursing home residents have high rates of dementia and can exhibit extremely aggressive behavior, she said.

“The biggest thing we’re hearing (from families) is we need more staff,” said Chartier.

Read the rest at Niagara This Week.

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