30,000 More Long-Term Care Beds for Seniors
April 19, 2018
Ontario Supporting Seniors, Caregivers and Families with 5,000 New Beds Across the Province by 2022
Premier Kathleen Wynne was at Kensington Gardens in Toronto today to announce that Ontario has allocated 5,000 new long-term care (LTC) beds in communities across the province.
This is part of the province’s commitment to build 5,000 new beds by 2022 and more than 30,000 new beds over the next decade. These 5,000 new beds will include nearly 500 new beds for Indigenous communities and over 1,500 new beds for specific cultures, including Francophone communities. The new beds are in addition to the 30,000 existing beds that are being redeveloped.
Premier Wynne spoke about how these investments will give seniors better access to high-quality, culturally appropriate professional care and help them continue to live happy and healthy lives.
Ontario is also investing more than $300 million over the next three years to hire an additional registered nurse at every LTC home, and to increase the provincial average to four hours of daily care per resident by 2022. This will ensure that every home will have staff with specialized training in behavioural supports, and in palliative and end-of-life care.
These investments, as well as a substantial 4.6 per cent increase in funding for the hospital sector and more support for home care, will improve access to care and reduce wait times in the health system to better meet the needs of a growing and aging population.
The government is also improving life for more seniors by:
- Expanding OHIP+ in 2019 to make prescription drugs free for everyone 65 and over
- Investing $650 million in new funding over three years to improve home and community care services
- Creating the Seniors’ Healthy Home Program to help those over 75 offset the costs of living independently with a $750 annual credit.
Making long-term care better and more accessible is part of the government’s plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.
- Through the 2018 Budget, Ontario is making more than $3.3 billion in additional investments to support seniors and caregivers over the next three years.
- These long-term care home projects will continue through their respective capital and licensing reviews.
- Ontario’s new investment in home care includes $180 million in 2018-19 to fund an estimated 2.8 million more hours of personal support, including caregiver respite, as well as 284,000 more nursing visits and 58,000 more therapy visits. This is part of a $650 million investment in home care over three years.
- Ontario is investing $1 billion over three years to create the Seniors’ Healthy Home Program. This will provide up to $750 per year for eligible households led by seniors 75 and over to help them offset the costs of living independently.
- The government is investing more than $100 million over three years in Ontario’s Dementia Strategy, including $37.5 million to expand community dementia programs and respite care services.
- As part of the 2018 Budget, Ontario announced an additional investment of $10 million in 2018-19 to strengthen and expand palliative and end-of-life care, bringing new annual funding to $40 million and a total three-year investment of $165 million between April 2016 and March 2019. This includes support for up to 20 new hospices across Ontario.
- The 2018 Budget also includes an $8 million equipment fund to prevent falls and injuries to keep residents and support workers safe.
- Ontario’s proposed new Drug and Dental Program would allow individuals and families without extended health coverage to be reimbursed up to 80 per cent of eligible prescription drug and dental expenses. This represents an investment of more than $800 million over the program’s first two years.