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Giant rocking chair tour to reach Orangeville Saturday

Posted: June 16, 2016

(June 16, 2016)

By: Orangeville Citizen

A giant 10-foot-tall wooden rocking chair is touring 19 towns across Ontario, including Orangeville this Saturday.

The Orangeville stop is scheduled for 10 a.m., at the northwest corner Broadway and Blind Line, a few steps from the Avalon Retirement Centre.

A news release from a coalition of health care groups promised the rocking chair will be accompanied by “local health coalition members, including seniors, family council members, union and care workers, long term care residents and concerned citizens. The goal is to bring awareness about improving the care standards at long term care facilities.”

The release said care levels in Ontario’s long term care homes are inadequate.

“More than 18,500 hospital beds have been closed since 1990 and patients are moved out of hospitals ever quicker and sicker. Access to care is poor with long-waits and increasingly severe rationing of access to care. There have been approximately 20,000 people on wait lists for long-term care home spaces for more than a decade.

“Almost two-thirds of long-term care residents have dementia and almost half have aggressive behaviours. Since 2001, more than 24 long-term care residents in Ontario have died as a result of violence from other residents and thousands have been attacked by other residents.”

The coalition says the Ontario government must: “Set a minimum care standard of four hours of hands-on care per day per resident, improve access to care and reduce wait times.”

The coalition will be collecting 20,000 signatures on postcards as they travel with the chair to symbolize the approximately 20,000 people waiting for long-term care placements.

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