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Rocking chair brings awareness to long term care facilities

Posted: June 21, 2016

(June 21, 2016)

Author: Kelly Snider, Orléans Star

GOVERNMENT. Members of the Ontario Health Coalition brought a 10-foot tall wooden rocking chair to Orléans on June 14, to help bring awareness to the issues surrounding the care standards at long-term care facilities.

“Our goal is to [bring attention] to the issues of the inadequate care in long-term homes and to pressure the government to address it,” said Peter Boyle, volunteer and tour lead. “There are two issues, one the issue of inadequate care levels and the issues of long wait lists and access to care.”

Boyle said a law was in place that each resident had to have just over two hours of care per day. However, in the late 90’s the law changed and now there is no set time as to how much care is dedicated to each resident.

He said they would like to see a standard set of four hours per day per resident for hands on care.

“It would be hard to determine that they’re getting the four hours, and doubt they got the 2.5 hours, because when the government gives out numbers they include [time spent] on the documentation and paper work for each patient,” said Boyle. “What happens is elderly are put in diapers because they can’t get the care they need to get out of bed.”

Boyle said it is also an issue for residents to be put into a long-care home in their own community.

“They’re forced to take the first available bed, which could be an hour drive way. Then the family is trying to [get to the home] between work hours and it puts stress on a family.”

Boyle added they are also concerned about hospital cuts. “The cuts continue to get worse, and there are fewer beds and patients are getting pushed out. There is no plan from [provincial government] to provide enough long term care to meet the load of hospital patients.”

“There have been 20,000 people on long-term care waitlists for over a decade and there are only 8,000 long-term care homes available in Ontario.”

Boyle said they want to make the general public aware of these issues. “We want [the general public] to write to their MPPs and say we need to do something, we have standards of care when it comes to  [daycare or education] but when it comes to elderly there are no regulations.”

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