France Gélinas, the Ontario NDP Health Critic, is calling on the Liberal government to improve care for vulnerable seniors, following the release of the Coroner’s delayed report on long-term care in Ontario.
“Every senior deserves to live in safety and dignity, with access to the care they need,” said Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, who was joined at Queen’s Park by leading advocates. “But this Liberal government is failing long-term care residents, their families, and frontline staff.”
The Chief Coroner’s new report on long-term care identifies disturbing trends and calls on the Liberal government to increase support for bedside care. The report states that the government’s current investments to address the growing needs of seniors “are not a replacement for sufficient numbers of caring staff who have time to spend with residents.” (p. 23)
“This report confirms that there is an urgent need to improve long-term care in Ontario,” said Gélinas. “Dedicated frontline staff are doing their very best every day, but they cannot do it alone. This Liberal government must address the growing needs of residents in our long-term care homes.”
The release of 63 urgent recommendations should have occurred last year, but was delayed until late last month due to “resource issues.” An additional 49 recommendations have also been made to address deaths investigated by the Coroner’s office in 2014.
‘’Women abuse in our Long Term Care home has become part of day to day life. This is wrong and it has to stop,’’ said MPP Gélinas. Women make up the great majority of victims of violence including homicides. The Coroner’s recommendations are not legally binding and the government has no legal obligation to implement or respond to them.
“It’s no surprise that the Liberals don’t want to talk about this disturbing report, but the Coroner’s recommendations are too important to ignore. We won’t let them turn a blind-eye to the needs of our seniors,” said Gélinas. “New Democrats will continue to speak up for long-term care residents and their families, who deserve far better from this Liberal government.”