Senior advocacy group pleased with promised funding

April 8, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

With the number of senior citizens on the rise in Ontario, long term care facilities have been under increasing pressure and have been advocating to increase funding for the number of beds as well as programs from senior care in the province.

Several local Orangeville and area long term care facilities have pushed for an increase in funding for expansion required to meet future needs.

AdvantAge Ontario is a not-for-profit community based organization that advocates for seniors in the province and they say they are pleased with the details of the provincial governments Action Plan for Seniors as details were release in the budget this past week.

The budget will see base funding for long term care homes go up 3.5 per cent – the largest increase in many years. New funding totals $300 million over three years to phase in the promised increase in direct care for seniors living in long term care homes.

The provincial government reconfirmed a plan to roll out 5,000 new long term care beds over the next four years and over 30,000 over the next decade.

Other measures to be implemented include a six per cent increase in the annual food budget, $5 million for high intensity needs fund, $8 million for equipment to prevent falls and injuries, and $10 million in support of the Behavioural Supports Ontario program to improve dementia care including training for all staff.

The number of seniors with forms of dementia has risen in recent years and they need special care as well as training for facility staff.

“This is a once-in-a-generation investment that targets a tremendous need and obligation for our society – better and more integrated care and services across the continuum so that every senior can live life to the fullest,” said Lisa Levin, CEO of AdvantAge Ontario. “With our aging population, demographics are demanding attention and we applaud the government for responding.”

With many seniors staying at home as long as possible, quite often they have complex needs when they finally make the move to a long term care centre.

“If they reach the stage of needing long term care, they are coming into our homes with increasingly complex care needs and behaviours so this additional support is welcomed and urgently needed, Ms. Levin added.

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