Government of Ontario Improves Quality of Life for Long-Term Care Residents

Extending Rate Freeze Part Of Plan To Ensure The Highest Quality of Care

TORONTO, Sept., 2005 — The McGuinty government is continuing to improve the quality of life for people living in long-term care homes by freezing basic accommodation rates for the second year in a row, said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.

“Our seniors deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and their families want to know their loved ones will be cared for when they can’t be there,” said Premier McGuinty. “By keeping rates affordable and delivering the very best care possible, we’re helping ensure our seniors stay healthy longer.”

Residents in long-term care homes will continue to pay $48.69 a day, or $1,480.99 a month, for basic accommodations. The government will continue to cover their remaining costs. Residents can also apply for a rate reduction if their monthly income is below $1,596.99.

Today’s announcement is part of the government’s plan to improve the quality of life for residents by maintaining a high level of care in long-term care homes. This year, the government is investing $264 million in new funding for long-term care homes — an increase of more than 10 per cent. This investment will support 700 new beds, improve care and help hire new staff in long-term care homes across Ontario.

The McGuinty government’s long-term care action plan includes:

  • Funding for 2,000 new positions in long-term care homes, including 600 full-time nurses
  • Conducting unannounced inspections of long-term care homes to ensure a high standard of care is delivered
  • Launching a public website with information to help families find the most suitable home
  • Establishing a toll-free action line for complaints
  • Expanding Resident and Family Councils to give residents a greater say in their care and help family members advocate for loved ones
  • Making it easier for couples to live together in the same long-term care home.

“The revolution in long-term care continues,” said Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman. “By ensuring the highest quality of care, we are making long-term care homes true homes for the people who live there.”

“This announcement is welcome news for long-term care residents right across Ontario and we thank the government,” said Pat Prentice, Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils. “We continue to be involved in the important work to improve standards in our long-term care homes.”

This initiative is part of the McGuinty government’s plan to build a health care system that delivers on three priorities — keeping Ontarians healthy, reducing wait times and providing better access to doctors and nurses.

“We’re investing in long-term care because it’s the right thing to do,” said Premier McGuinty. “By strengthening the health of our people, we’re strengthening our province — and we’re building a quality of life that is truly second to none.”