Transform long-term residential care in Canada to prioritize quality of life

Transform long-term residential care in Canada to prioritize quality of life

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In the spring of 2020, military personnel deployed to save seniors stranded in COVID-ridden care facilities found frail, elderly residents dehydrated, unfed, and covered in urine and feces. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed shock and anger and - noting long-standing deficits in the sector - stated that Canada must TAKE ACTION AS A COUNTRY.

The 2021 federal budget proposed funding to support provinces and territories in implementing standards for long-term care (LTC), but this fails to address systemic problems in the sector. LTC must be transformed into a caring, positive option for seniors and a rewarding place to work. Facilities must adopt a care-centred approach reflecting both physical and mental health needs, and include families, caregivers, and residents as integral parts of the care team.

We call on the prime minister, our premiers, and members of legislative assemblies to take immediate action:

FEDERAL & PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS

  • Create National and Provincial Commissions of Inquiry to hold public hearings to learn from survivor residents, families and staff about LTC and report to Canadians by 31 December 2022.
  • Fund a Canada-wide pilot project of 24 new model public LTC facilities, consisting of small, home-like units, constructed to limit the spread of infectious disease. This will be the first step toward a coast-to-coast LTC building program serving elderly and others requiring residential care, run on national care standards.
  • Fund institutional, provincial, and national LTC Family and Resident Councils to ensure input from families, caregivers, and residents and appoint an independent Seniors Advocate in every province to review and make public the systemic concerns impacting seniors.

PROVINCIAL & TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENTS

  • Increase staff-resident contact hours to 4 per day, match hospital wages for LTC staff, pay benefits to all staff, require facilities to provide professional development in care-centred, dementia, and palliative programs.
  • Establish four-month, personal care plans for every LTC resident, developed in consultation with families, caregivers, and residents (regardless of cognitive ability).
  • Provide daily therapies of exercise, nature, music, dance, art, community, and cultural celebration and regular review of the use of wheelchairs and anti-psychotic medications.
  • Establish the hospice model of palliative care in every LTC, including culturally informed staff hospice training and a beautiful memorial space.

We demand that federal, provincial, and territorial governments across Canada take a leadership role and invest in protecting our vulnerable seniors in long-term care and prioritizing their quality of life.

This petition was inspired by COVID in the House of Old, a commemorative project created to honour our loved ones & bring awareness to the failures of LTC in Canada.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!