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SAULT STE. MARIE, ON ― Local organizers of a community meeting this Friday night focused on care levels for residents in long-term care (LTC) homes, say they are deeply disappointed that Sault MPP David Orazietti has refused an invitation to participate in a panel discussion at the event.

Algoma-Manatoulin MPP Michael Mantha and Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario president Fred Hahn have both agreed to speak at the meeting slated for 7 p.m., June 12 at the Holiday Inn Express, 320 Bay St.

“We think it’s very important that our local MPP join this conversation. He should be there to hear first-hand from residents’ families why they support increasing care levels for their loved ones living in nursing homes,” says Debbie Czop a personal support worker (PSW) at the F. J. Davey Home and one of the meeting organizers.

Since 1992, the complexity of care needs of Ontario’s long-term care residents – the majority of who are 85 years of age or older – has increased significantly. Seventy-three 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.

Yet Ontario funds long-term care at a lower level than just about any other Canadian province.

“The result of years of provincial underfunding is that there simply aren’t enough staff to provide residents with the care time they need and deserve each day to live with dignity in Ontario nursing homes. This needs to change. A daily care standard in legislation is long overdue. I encourage Mr. Orazietti to remember his responsibility to the people of his riding, to take the time to listen to the very real needs of those he is elected to represent by joining us on the panel Friday,” says Hahn.

June is “seniors’ month” in Ontario and long-term care workers from Sault Ste. Marie are joining LTC staff from across the province, in a week of actions to highlight the real need for increased care levels for long-term care residents. Friday’s community meeting is one of several events organized locally in Sault Ste. Marie, which include a walk for seniors (today at noon at the F. J. Davey Home) and petition signing at community gatherings.

The petition calls for:

  • An amendment to the Long-Term Care Homes Act (2007) for a legislated care standard of a minimum average of 4 hours of hands-on-care per resident each day.
  • Increased funding to achieve a staffing and care standard and tying funding to the provision of quality care and staffing levels that meet the minimum care standard of 4 hours.
  • The province to stop closing hospital beds and downloading of hospital patients with complex medical conditions to long-term care homes.

For additional information or an interview, please contact:

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications