OLTCA Welcomes Renewed Focus on Delivery of Sustainable Care and Services for Ontario's Elder Citizens
MARKHAM, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 8, 2013) - The Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) welcomes the release of the Seniors Strategy presented by Dr. Samir Sinha to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
"This report comes at a critical time," said Candace Chartier, CEO of OLTCA. "Action must be taken if Ontario is going to be ready to deliver the full range of care and services to the growing number of frail, chronically ill Ontario citizens."
The Association supported the development of a Seniors Care Strategy that recognizes that long term care is a core component of the continuum of community-based seniors care that stretches from hospital to home. The Association made a submission to Sinha that included recommendations that highlighted five areas where LTC can add value to seniors care in Ontario: Complex Care, End of Life Care, Assess-Restore & Convalescent Care, Specialized Family Caregiver Support, and Advanced Practical Training for Aging Care Workforce.
A number of OLTCA recommendations are included in Dr. Sinha's report, including:
-- The development of an evidence informed capacity planning process
-- Increasing short-stay respite and convalescent-care program capacity in
-- Enabling LTC homes to provide higher levels of care to individuals with
complex care needs
-- Exploring the ability of LTC homes to serve as community-care hubs
-- Streamlining application and placement processes to improve flow to and
from LTC homes
-- Providing additional training opportunities to maximize the knowledge
and skills of LTC home staff and support them in releasing time to care
-- Enhancing utilization of Nurse-Led Outreach Teams
OLTCA believes that a strong long term care system is a pillar of Ontario's health system, along with health promotion, aging in place, senior friendly hospital care and effective transitions.
Like Dr.Sinha, OLTCA understands that Ontario continues to face fiscal challenges - and understands that everyone in the health care sector has to do their part to help address these challenges. In its fiscal 2013/14 funding submission to government, OLTCA identified key funding and policy issues and initiatives that, if addressed, would help to strengthen long term care:
-- Adequate funding to meet the care needs of seniors living in long term
-- Policy and funding flexibility to build capacity in the sector
-- A viable capital redevelopment program
Implementing these recommendations, together with the new Seniors Strategy will ensure that older Ontarians receive the right care, at the right time in the right place. It will also ensure that high quality residential long term care remains accessible for those who need it when they need it.
"OLTCA is pleased that Dr. Sinha has included a number of our recommendation to advance the interests of Ontario's elder citizens, and we look forward to working with the implementation teams to move forward with the strategy," said Chartier. "The Association is also encouraged by recent investments that will support a more highly skilled long term care workforce, and we will continue to work with government to address the care needs of Ontario's seniors," Chartier added.
The OLTCA is the largest long term care provider association in Ontario representing the full spectrum of long term care homes: not-for-profit, charitable, ethnic, municipal, hospital and private. The association's 440 member homes provide care and accommodation services to over 50,000 residents annually. For over 50 years, the OLTCA has been advocating for practical solutions that advance the capacity of long term care to meet the changing needs of residents.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Ontario Long Term Care Association
Director of Communications and Public Affairs
905-470-8995, ext. 25