GORE BAY—Jarlette Health Services has once again partnered with the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) and other nursing homes across the province, including the Manitoulin Lodge in Gore Bay, to advocate on behalf of those living with us and also for future residents who will need help and support in the coming years. Over the next 10 years, there will be 50 percent more seniors over the age of 75. Priorities, if acted upon now, will greatly improve the care, service and quality associated with long-term care for the present and future generations of service.
“The Better Seniors Care awareness education program we have in place currently is in partnership with the OLTCA,” said Alison Riddy, of Jarlette Health Services, last week.
A Jarlette release explains the long-term care sector is facing imminent challenges that need to be addressed. Some of these priorities include: a redevelopment and renewal strategy for older and outdated long-term care homes including looking at the funding and support to provide residents with a newer, more spacious and comfortable home; the addition of more long-term beds so that families living in rural areas can access the same care and services as those living in urban centres; the provision of a more predictable approach to funding, securing earlier funding notices and ensuring annual increases that are on track with inflation; and increasing the number of specialized, in-home resources for all long-term care homes across the province, such as Behaviour Supports Ontario.”
Ms. Riddy noted, “right now as far as the priority for redevelopment and renewal strategy, this is in a holding pattern with the Manitoulin Lodge and other nursing homes (until more support is provided by the province). She explained on the second priority of additional long-term care beds and services, “what we would like to do is increase services for rural areas-closer to home so for instance instead of people moving to Sudbury or Espanola for these services they can remain local. And we are looking to have additional bed licences to allow for more flexibility as well. In the next 10 years, there is going to be an increase of 50 percent in terms of the number of people over the age of 75, which will be a real strain on the system. These supports are needed.”
“We are pushing for all of these initiatives, to be proactive instead of reactive,” said Ms. Riddy.
Jarlette long-term care homes will be hosting events throughout February and March. One is scheduled for the Manitoulin Lodge on February 24. “The lodge is looking to have (Algoma-Manitoulin MPP) Michael Mantha there along with Behavioural Supports Ontario for care workers on hand to provide education on working with loved ones and the Alzheimer’s Society to provide Alzheimer’s education,” said Ms. Riddy.
You can visit www.BetterSeniorsCare.ca on the advocacy campaign Jarlette Health Services, the OLTCA and nursing homes throughout the province are participating in, for more information, and to sign an online petition. Paper petitions are also available in the homes.