Fixing home care and long-term care, and helping Ontarians age in place
In October 2020, the Ontario NDP released a detailed plan to fix home care and long-term care, so that everyone can stay in their home for longer, and all Ontarians are treated with dignity and respect as they age.
Every Ontarian, no matter their income, deserves dignified, affordable, quality care as they age, whether that’s excellent home and community care so older adults can stay in their own homes longer, or long-term to support them, or long-term care that prioritizes the well-being of residents over corporate profits.
Our home and community care and long-term care systems are failing our seniors. Conservative and Liberal governments have allowed big, private corporations to warehouse seniors in institution-like facilities. They cut corners on staffing and care in order to pocket bigger profits.
Home and community care and long-term care are chronically understaffed. A revolving door of underpaid part-time workers such as PSWs have been run off their feet, often forced to work at multiple long-term care homes to make ends meet, while one-size-fits-all care often ignores people’s culture, foods, and language.
Doug Ford tried to save money during the COVID-19 pandemic by doing the bare minimum. Tragically, more than 4,000 seniors died during the COVID-19 outbreak in long-term care. People’s parents and grandparents were left to get sick and die alone in horrible conditions.
The Ontario NDP has a strong and doable plan to fix our broken home and community care, and long-term care. We will immediately begin the work to replace profit-driven corporations both in home and long-term care, with municipal and not-for-profit ownership and full public delivery of home and community care – making sure every dollar goes towards more and better care for our loved ones.
We will make sure our parents get care that is responsive to their culture and language. We will give our family members the help they need to stay in their own homes longer. And we will get to work building small nursing home communities that actually feel like home, with more staff who have more time to care.
Most Ontarians would prefer to stay in the comfort and familiarity of their home as they age.
But long-term care is often the only choice available to people because the Liberals and Conservatives underfunded and privatized home and community care, creating a broken, patchwork system that does not meet the needs of Ontarians.
The Ontario NDP has a plan to ensure people can live at home longer as they age, with reliable and expanded services to support their needs.
Here are some key elements of that plan:
Establish provincial standards for home and community care servicesby creating a basket of core services Ontarians are entitled to receive, such as help with meal preparation, or nursing care to help with medication management. We’ll hold service providers accountable to ensure they meet the provincially regulated criteria for basic services.
Align home and community care services to communities’ needs: We’ll create culturally appropriate resources and training for home and community care programs and develop a provincial jobs-matching program to attract and match PSWs and other home and community care workers to communities where they have shared cultural and linguistic knowledge.
Caregiver Benefit Program: The Ontario NDP recognizes the invaluable role that family caregivers play, and all the ways they help with their time and money. That’s why we will create a provincial Caregiver Benefit Program that provides direct support to family caregivers who do not qualify for the existing federal tax credit programs or respite care. This means-tested program would provide $400 a month to informal caregivers.
AGING ONTARIANS DESERVE THE BEST
Every Ontarian deserves to live in comfort and dignity as they age. We have all heard harrowing stories of nursing homes so short-staffed that residents are neglected while a revolving door of underpaid, part- time workers are run off their feet.
Conservative and Liberal governments built a system where big, for-profit corporations own most of the long-term care homes in Ontario. They cut corners when it comes to staffing and care in order to pocket bigger profits.
Andrea Horwath and the NDP will ensure that every public dollar spent in long-term care and home and community care goes directly to care and not to corporate profits.
Fix the system by making it public and not-for- profit: Starting in 2022, an NDP government will begin building a new, public and non-profit home and community care and long-term care system.
Immediately begin building 50,000 new and modern beds:Number estimated Ontario will need by 2030.
Long-term, home and community care that reflects cultural languages, food, practices: The Ontario NDP’s plan to transform long-term, home and community care includes ensuring our elders and seniors have access to care that is personal and familiar, with staff and practices that reflect their distinct cultures and languages. We’ll create culturally appropriate resources and training for home and community care programs.