Oshawa seniors in long-term care need the community’s help to get the Ontario government to support increased care levels for residents and new legislation to make a daily care standard the law, says Candace Rennick a former long‑term care worker and now secretary‑treasurer of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.
This is why this Saturday, May 27, 2017 between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., CUPE Ontario along with the local group ‘We are Oshawa’ are hosting a community event highlighting how “we, right here in Oshawa can all make a difference to the lives of vulnerable seniors by supporting a resident care standard,” says Rennick.
She’s encouraging Oshawa‑Durham residents with aging parents, family members already in long‑term care or anyone interested in the state of the system to drop by the Saturday event at the Northview Library (Nonquon Room), 250 Beatrice Street, Oshawa to learn about how Ontario underfunds resident care compared to other provinces and what they can do to change that. “We want anyone who wants to help make this better to come out to our community day on Saturday and find out how they can help,” says Rennick.
While staffing falls short in other provinces, Ontario provides less care than reported by any other province. No other province reports fewer long-term care health care staff per resident (or per bed) than Ontario. Heath data shows that long‑term care residents are sicker than ever, have a much higher acuity and require much more care. The percentage of residents with heart disease are growing at a rate of 4.5 per cent per year and those with renal failure at a rate of 3.7 per cent per year. Residents with six or more formal diagnoses are growing at a rate of 4.8 per cent a year. But provincial funding for long-term care only increased by 2 per cent in the 2017 budget.
There are thousands of Ontarians who have signed petitions, door‑knocked and been in touch with their MPPs calling for the Time to Care Act (Bill 33) to be made law. “Now we’re calling on all area MPPs to join MPP Jennifer French in clearly supporting this bill that will make an immense difference to the quality of life for long-term care residents,” says Rennick.
Saturday’s Time to Care event is “family‑friendly” with a free community barbeque, children’s games and door prizes, says Rennick. “All are welcome.”