More than a decade after a provincial study recommended that residents of long-term care homes should each receive four hours of care per day, Niagara seniors homes still fall short of that target.
St. Catharines city Coun. Sal Sorrento called it “a crisis of epic proportions.”
Despite the growing need for long-term care services, he said funding falls short of meeting recommended care levels.
The province’s People Caring for People Report released in 2007 called for four hours of daily care per long-term care home resident, and the province reaffirmed its commitment to increasing resident care to that level in a report published last year called Aging with Confidence: Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors.
But in Niagara, staffing levels at regional homes currently only allow for 3.21 hours of care per resident each day.
Sorrento will be at a regional public health committee meeting Tuesday afternoon discussing his concerns about a family member residing at Linhaven in St. Catharines, and urging committee members to ask the province to provide Niagara’s nine long-term care homes with enough funding to ensure residents receive the care they need.
A report on staffing levels within Niagara’s long-term care homes will be presented during the meeting, proposing the addition of 2.5 full-time equivalent workers per home, at a cost of more than $7 million, boosting the daily care per resident to 3.93 hours.
Committee members will also consider a recommendation calling on Regional Chair Alan Caslin to write a letter to the minister of health in support of the province’s commitment to increase funding for direct resident care in 2018.
Sorrento, who represents St. George’s Ward, said he will be at the meeting speaking on behalf of the families of loved ones at Linhaven, “who all have very similar concerns.”