REPEAT – Facts vs. PR on Ontario’s Long-Term Care from residents’ families: Have care levels improved at all?

TORONTO, May 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —

What: The promises have been profuse but how do they measure up to the care levels residents and families are finding right now in Ontario’s long term care homes? This is the focus of a study the Ontario Health Coalition is releasing tomorrow in a virtual press conference. The study was conducted over the last month in Ontario’s long-term care homes, where, as of yesterday 4,517 residents have died of COVID alone. That does not include the thousands, the Coalition estimates, who have died of neglect and inadequate care.

Since 2020, in press conferences and announcements, the Ford government has made repeated claims in response to public horror at the unconscionable lack of care revealed in Ontario’s long-term care homes. Last fall, the government touted that it was implementing a minimum care standard, increasing fines and reinstating inspections. (Note: despite the PR, those fines have never been used. Not one home operator has been fined under the Act as promised, not one operator has lost its license, annual comprehensive inspections have not been reinstated – they are delayed for 2 years.) On increasing actual care: in fact, the Ford government set a target not an enforceable minimum standard of care, and delayed it for four years. The target to get to 4-hours of care per resident per day is 2025. The first incremental improvement in care levels was supposed to be a 15-minute increase in care per resident per day by March 31 of this year, which should have brought care up to 3 hours per resident per day; nowhere near a safe level, but better. Our question is, has even such an incremental improvement target been met?

The Ontario Health Coalition asked families and long-term care home family councils to collect actual staffing schedules so we could calculate the hours of care per resident per day and see if there has been any improvement. We will release the results along with long-term care families who can describe current conditions in the homes in a virtual press conference.

When: Media conference by Zoom on Wednesday May 18 at 10:30 am. Link:
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83463509940?pwd=aWRMdWpXWFgxbzAyMjI1TnBqMWt6UT09
Meeting ID: 834 6350 9940
Passcode: 561636

Who: Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition; Mary Anne Kolibash, family member whose parent is in a for-profit chain long-term care home in Northern Ontario; Sue (last name withheld for fear of retribution), family member whose mom is in a for-profit long-term care home in Southwest Ontario; Shalom Schachter, long-term care expert, author of seminal study on deaths in for-profit vs. non-profit/public long-term care under COVID.

For more information: Natalie Mehra, Ontario Health Coalition executive director, (416) 230-6402.

 


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