Residents at Muskoka Shores Nursing Home are not getting the level of care they need and the Wynne government continues to turn a blind eye, said staff from the home who held a rally and information barbeque at the Lion’s Pavilion in Gravenhurst on Wednesday.

“Muskoka Shores provides only three personal support workers for every 60 residents and the staff physically can’t provide the level of care they need,” said Cindy Seaton, President of CUPE 2481 who also works at the home. “It turns out there are no legal requirements for nursing homes to provide a minimum standard of care in this province and our elderly are suffering. This has hit a crisis point and the Premier has to act.”

For the past two decades the complexity of care needs of long-term care residents – the majority of whom are 85 years of age or older – has increased significantly. 73 per cent of residents have some form of Alzheimer’s or dementia and most need help with feeding, bathing, toileting and getting out of bed.

“Ontario staffing levels in long-term care are the lowest of any province in Canada,” said Candace Rennick, CUPE Ontario’s Secretary-Treasurer and former long-term care worker. “What’s happening at Muskoka Shores is also happening in homes all across the province. Inaction by the Wynne government is no longer an option.”

In April, MPP France Gélinas introduced Bill 188, the Time to Care Act (Long-Term Care Homes Amendment, Minimum Standard of Daily Care), 2016, a private member’s bill that, if passed would amend the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 so that long-term care homes will have to provide its residents with at least four hours a day of nursing and personal support services.

“No one should ever have to sit alone in a room in a soiled adult diaper with no one to respond to their call for help,” said Rennick. “We are calling on the Premier to set partisanship aside and enact Bill 188 so that all long-term care residents can count on the level of care they need.”

It was more than the barbeque that was fired up at the Gravenhurst wharf after the staff from Muskoka Shores Nursing Home handed out hot dogs and flyers about the crisis in long-term care. People in the community clearly demonstrated their support for legislating a daily four hour minimum standard of care.