Life is full of obstacles and challenges — problems we learned to overcome thanks to the dedication and support from our parents and grandparents.
They were there to support us, to provide us with guidance and to be there when we needed them the most. Today, it’s time for our generation to support them as they face challenges in being able to access care services close to home.
A couple weeks back, I had the pleasure of visiting Sudbury to talk about seniors care, more specifically the need for improvements to our long-term care system. While I visited the community, I had the pleasure of touring Finlandia Village, a true gem and something we hope can be replicated across our province.
More than 40 per cent of Ontario’s long-term care homes are in need of renewal, a challenge that Sudbury knows all too well given the many examples of alternate level of care concerns brought forward by the community over the years.
Half of the homes in Sudbury are nearing the end of their functional life and require renewal. Although the province has a program in place to renew them, many challenges remain and bring about questions regarding these homes ability to redevelop.
In addition to this, we know that there are not enough beds to care for our elders. In fact, last year, there were more than 23,000 on the wait list for care in Ontario and almost 2,000 in the North East LHIN. Over the next 20 years, the number of seniors will grow dramatically in Sudbury by approximately two per day, putting even more strain on our ability to ensure the necessary access is there.
Seniors need to feel safe and families need to know that when the time comes to access care for their loved ones, there is a place for them. In order to ensure we can create more homes like Finlandia, not just in Sudbury, but across Ontario, we need your support.
I encourage the community to visit betterseniorscare.ca and learn about our plan to build long-term care up and to sign our petition calling on the province to make better seniors care a priority in their 2017 provincial budget.
Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Long Term Care Association