Local Long Term Care homes to see care hours investment

Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

A total of four Long Term Care homes in Prince Edward County will be receiving a funding infusion to be allotted for increases in care hours thanks to the provincial government.

Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith announced West Lake Terrace, Hallowell House and HJ MacFarland Memorial Home were among the LTCs in the Quinte area that would be benefitting from an investment of $7,857,960. According to Smith, this local alottment is part of the province’s $673 million commitment to ensure long-term care residents receive —on average— four hours of direct care per day by 2024-2025 and these funds will increase care for residents in each of the nine long-term care homes in Bay of Quinte.

“This funding will allow homes in our community to hire and retain more staff so they can provide more care to residents, every day,” said Smith. “This is part of our government’s plan to hire thousands of new staff over the next four years to ensure those living in long-term care get the high-quality care they need and deserve.”

Among the local homes included in the announcement:

• McFarland Home for the Aged, in Picton, will receive up to $732,588 for additional staffing this year to increase the hours of direct care for residents.

• Versa Care Hallowell House, in Picton, will receive up to $619,224 for additional staffing this year to increase the hours of direct care for residents.

• Kentwood Park, in Picton, will receive up to $296,520 for additional staffing this year to increase the hours of direct care for residents.

• West Lake Terrace, in Picton, will receive up to $287,808 for additional staffing this year to increase the hours of direct care for residents.

According to statistics supplied by the province, Ontario now has over 24,000 new and 19,000 upgraded beds in the development pipeline, which means more than 80 per cent of 30,000 net new beds are in the planning, construction and opening stages of the development process. Over the past year, In 2021-2022, the province invested $200 million to train up to 16,200 additional personal support workers through publicly assisted colleges, private career colleges and district school boards.

“We know more qualified staff means more daily care for residents,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care. “Hiring more staff is part of our government’s plan to fix long-term care and to improve the quality of care residents receive and the quality of life they experience.”

Thanks to a myriad of factors including advances in primary care and medical technology, seniors entering long-term care today are older and have more complex medical needs than they did just a decade ago and the government admitted the level of care residents need has increased dramatically but the amount of care they receive each day has not.

In the nine years, between 2009 and 2018, the amount of care each resident received, by all providers, per day increased by only 22 minutes. Ontario’s  government has pledged that  over the span of four years,  direct hours of care will increase by one hour and 21 minutes.

The government is investing $4.9 billion over four years to boost direct resident care to an average of four hours daily by increasing care staff by more than 27,000 people. Hiring thousands of new staff at long-term homes and increasing the amount of care they deliver each year will be made possible by annual funding increases to homes.

-Staff