In question period today, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called on Premier Wynne to address the wide-spread and urgent systemic issues in long-term care following news of a senior in care being verbally attacked in Ottawa – another in a barrage of stories from families concerned about their loved ones.
“Last week in Ottawa there was yet another incident in a home, this time involving verbal abuse of a senior in care,” said Horwath. “These stories keep coming up. Every day I hear from family members who tell me about the horrific conditions their loved ones face in care. The issues in long-term care are systemic – they stretch to every corner of this province.”
Last week, verbal abuse of an elderly resident at Peter D. Clark long-term care home in Ottawa was caught on tape. Despite the growing number and varied nature of the concerns, Wynne and the Liberals have refused to act or even investigate the systemic issues. Horwath has been calling for a two-phase inquiry into long-term care to find and fix the problems in Ontario’s long-term care system – problems that have allowed residents to be subject to neglect, or even violence or abuse. One phase would look at the specific conditions that allowed multiple murders to be committed by Elizabeth Wettlaufer and the other phase would consider systemic issues like hours of hands on care, funding and staffing levels.
Horwath said with no provincial standards of care in long-term care for things like staffing levels, far too many homes are falling well short. “The Conservatives think the issue in long-term care is a few bad apples, the Liberals think the issue is Elizabeth Wettlaufer,” she said.
“When will the premier finally admit that the crisis in long-term care is on-going and affects the whole system; and expand the scope of the Wettlaufer inquiry in order to find and fix what has gone wrong for so many years in long-term care?” asked Horwath.