No vulnerable long-term care residents should have to endure sitting in a soiled diaper or being left with no one to hold their hand at the end of life, say St. Joseph’s Villa staff holding a rally on Tuesday (August 30, 2 p.m.– 3 p.m.) in support of legislation that would mandate a four-hour daily care standard for nursing home residents.
While Tuesday’s protest will be held in front of St. Joseph’s Villa (56 Governors Road, Dundas), “the focus is moving the province to increase care and staffing levels at all Ontario long-term care homes,” says Heather Neiser, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1404), representing personal support workers, nurses, housekeeping and other staff at the home. Daily care levels for Ontario long-term care residents are among the lowest in the country and “we think it’s high time the provincial government supported a care standard,” Neiser says.
The Ontario Legislature will resume in less than a month and the St. Joseph workers (members of CUPE 1404) want Ontario MPPs from all parties to vote in support of private members’ legislation (Bill 188, the Time to Care Act (Long-Term Care Homes Amendment, Minimum Standard of Daily Care), 2016). If passed, Bill 188 would mandate nursing homes to provide residents with at least four hours of nursing and personal support services daily.
CUPE 1404 have visibly pushed for increased care levels for residents before and will continue to do so they say, until the province makes a four-hour daily care standard for long-term care residents, the law.
“Providing care with compassion and having the time to answer the call bell when a resident needs care, is very important to personal support workers and other staff. It should be for the Ontario Liberal government too. But so far, they have obstinately refused to acknowledge that care and staffing are too low in Ontario long-term care homes,” says Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE) president and CUPE Ontario first vice–president Michael Hurley, who will be speaking at Tuesday’s protest.
Earlier this month, CUPE long-term care members in Gravenhurst accused the provincial government of turning a “blind eye” to too low resident care and staffing levels in Ontario care homes.
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