SCHULTE: Liberal plan hits the target for real change in long-term care – Toronto Sun

Posted: September 4, 2021 at 5:54 am

Breadcrumb Trail Links

Author of the article:

Publishing date:

By Deb Schulte, Special to Postmedia Network

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

The pandemic tragically highlighted serious and long-standing challenges in Canadas long-term care sector. Canadians are rightly concerned about the level of care and protection provided for their loved ones. Now is not the time for half measures; its time for real change.

The Conservative plan for long-term care will squander this opportunity to provide needed help for seniors.

Better care for those living in long-term care starts with improved conditions for workers. Although the Conservatives propose to double the Canada Workers Benefit, it wont help most personal support workers whose incomes are above $32,244, the average for most nurse aides and orderlies. It wont incentivize people to start careers as personal support workers.

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

In effect, the Conservative plan fails to address instability in a sector dominated by women, over a third of whom are immigrants.

While the Conservatives say that they want to invite the provinces to work with us to develop a set of best practices for long-term care, this duplicates work already underway by experts at the Health Standards Organization (HSO) and CSA Group.

When Conservative Leader Erin OToole was asked about funding for long-term care, he pointed to his promise to increase the Canada Health Transfer. But the Canada Health Transfer is a general fund that can be used for any health-care initiative, such as clearing backlogs.

The only way for the government of Canada to make permanent changes in this sector is by working cooperatively with provinces and territories, who have the constitutional jurisdiction to regulate long-term care. That requires finding common ground backed by significant, targeted federal investments.

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

The Liberals have a strong record of working cooperatively with their provincial and territorial partners and have a new $9 billion plan that will deliver better care for Canadians in long-term care.

It starts by improving working conditions and raising wages for personal support workers. They are the heroes on the frontlines taking care of our loved ones.

Too many have precarious jobs in multiple homes and do not earn enough to get by on. This drives turnover and increases infections as workers spread outbreaks between homes.

A re-elected Liberal government will work with provinces and territories to ensure personal support workers receive a wage of at least $25 an hour. To address the workforce shortage, we will invest $500 million to train up to 50,000 new personal support workers.

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Over the last 20 months, weve seen how standards without enforcement fail to protect workers and residents. So we will work with our partners to introduce a Safe Long-term Care Act that ensures standards of care are upheld across the country. It will be informed by the work of the HSO and CSA.

During the pandemic, we saw the virus spread through multi-bed rooms and outdated ventilation systems.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

A re-elected Liberal government would invest a further $3 billion to provide major renovations in long-term care homes and improve the quality and number of beds.

All this adds to the almost $5 billion we have invested since the pandemic started for infection prevention and wage increases for low-income essential workers.

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Finally, seniors want to stay in their own homes as long as possible as they age. The Canadian Institutes of Health Informationreportsthat as many as one in nine seniors in long-term care could have been cared for at home with the proper supports.

Liberals have a plan to help more seniors age at home.

We will double the Home Accessibility Tax Credit, providing an additional $1,500 for renovations to make seniors homes more accessible. We will create a new Multigenerational Home Renovation tax credit to help families add a secondary suite to their home so a family member can live with them. And the new Age Well at Home initiative will fund practical supports that connect low-income and vulnerable seniors with help for tasks they are no longer able to manage.

In 2022 we are renegotiating homecare agreements with provinces and territories to improve access to homecare and transitions to long-term care or palliative care.

Everyone living in long-term care deserves safe, dignified and quality care. Only the Liberals offer an ambitious, achievable plan to get there.

Deb Schulte is the federal Liberal candidate for King-Vaughan and the Minister of Seniors.

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Sign up to receive daily headline news from the Toronto SUN, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.

A welcome email is on its way. If you don't see it, please check your junk folder.

The next issue of The Toronto Sun Headline News will soon be in your inbox.

We encountered an issue signing you up. Please try again

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notificationsyou will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

More here:

SCHULTE: Liberal plan hits the target for real change in long-term care - Toronto Sun

Related Post