The Ontario government is increasing hours of direct care for long-term care residents from 2.75 to an average of four hours per day over the next four years. It is the first jurisdiction in Canada, it says, to commit to this many hours.
In Ontario, the government covers the costs of all nursing and personal care while living in a long-term care home.
The initiative is part of Ontario’s commitment to be a leader in care assistance for long-term care residents in Canada and builds on investments to increase long-term care capacity and build new beds over 10 years.
“I made a promise to long-term care residents, their families and their caregivers that we would deliver better care for our seniors,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. “By increasing the hours of daily direct care for residents, we will improve their quality of life and ensure they are more comfortable and safe.”
The province has set targets to reach the goal over the next four years. The timeframe will allow the government to educate and recruit tens of thousands of personal support workers, as well as registered practical nurses and registered nurses, to fulfill the new four-hour commitment.
“Improving the quality of life and care for long-term care residents is at the centre of everything we do,” said Merrilee Fullerton, Ontario Minister of Long-Term Care. “Although we will continue to make progress, these changes will not happen overnight, as we have to hire and train a great number of staff and build modern new facilities so our residents get the level of care they deserve.”