March 21st, 2017

NDP: Wait for long-term care beds leaving families in crisis

NDP Home and Long-Term Care Critic Teresa Armstrong says extended wait times for long-term care beds are leaving Ontario families in crisis, scrambling to find care for loved ones, often at personal expense.

“Last week, I had a town hall meeting on long-term care in my riding. One of my constituents told me she was forced to take her father out of the hospital, and he has been living in a hospital bed in her living room,” said Armstrong this morning during question period. “She has missed so much work that she isn’t sure she has a job to go back to, and she is currently unable to pay her mortgage and her hydro bills because her father needs daily care.”

Far from an isolated case, Armstrong, the MPP for London-Fanshawe, stressed that the current crisis is the result of years of inaction by the Liberal government, who failed to adequately address rising need for long-term care options.

“The growing demand for long-term-care beds has not just come up out of the blue. Experts have warned this government for more than 10 years. Now, there are 26,500 seniors and their families caught up in cycles of stress, poverty and loss of dignity. The same experts have also told you that the wait-list will double in six years to 50,000 people,” said Armstrong, calling on the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to take action.

“Minister, you have failed my constituents, and I want to know exactly what you are doing for the 26,500 seniors and their families who are languishing on waiting lists, waiting for a long-term-care bed,” said Armstrong. “Will you commit to ensuring that every senior has access to a long-term care bed when they need it?”