The New Democratic Party leader Andrea Horwath and MPP Michael Mantha held a virtual press conference today on the topic of long-term care in northern Ontario.
Andrea Horwath has proposed to spend an extra three billion dollars in operating costs over six years and 750 million in capital costs per year for eight years funding long-term care.
The NDP plan includes dedicated staff for four hours per patient and completely removing the private sector from long-term care. Horwath called the plan bold.
Part of the vision is to remove larger homes and start building smaller homes and have them feel more like villas. She plans to allow family members to be more than just visitors but primary care providers in their family setting.
“We’re going to end the practice of building big, centralized institution like facilities and build more small family-like homes so that people can stay in their own community and stay closer to their family,” said Howarth. “I’m going to ensure that family caregivers are more than just visitors, you’ll meet essential care partners, you, your parents, your loved ones, you all deserve to be better off.”
During part of the press conference Marie DellaVedova, a family member of an LTC patient was able to tell her story.
Her mother had suffered a life-altering stroke and after two months was placed into a home. She explained all the stuff her mother needed. Lifts, help to dress, feeding, moving around, basically everything. She noted the care just was not there although they tried.
“The staff was very dedicated, but they did not have the time to adequately meet her needs,” said DellaVedova. “Today’s long-term care residents like my mother often have complex and numerous needs. And that means long-term care homes must have more staff.”
According to Horwath, the coronavirus shined a light on how bad conditions in long-term care have become and their plan is a top priority if they are elected in 2022.
“Every year, Conservative and Liberal governments ask you to accept less and less for your loved ones. They cut funding it cut inspections. And every year the conditions that our loved ones endure get worse,” said Horwath.
The next provincial election is scheduled to be on or before June 2, 2022.