Sunday, 20 October 2019
Healthcare Media release

Press release: New staffing changes not enough to address crisis in long-term care

For Immediate Release                                                                     

September 27, 2019

The ACE (Advocates for the Care of the Elderly) Team welcomes new short-term staffing changes in long-term care announced by the Minister of Health and Wellness on Wednesday, but also says they fall short of making a real dent in addressing chronic understaffing.

According to ACE Team Chair, Gary MacLeod, “This long overdue announcement will be helpful, but it is a drop in the bucket to what is really needed to finally bring an end to nursing home understaffing. Providing $5 million for implementing the recommendations of the Expert Advisory Panel will hardly make a dent to these serious understaffing issues across the province”

MacLeod adds: “Hiring temporary long-term care assistants will not really help in the short-term. Existing permanent staff will have to give up some of their very limited time to help train and give direction to them. What we clearly need is many more qualified CCAs and LPNs, and a clear policy to improve the ratio of residents to staff.

“While the additional 132 nursing home beds may sound encouraging,” MacLeod says, “It is our understanding that these beds are mostly replacement beds and they are not even close to addressing the current wait list of at least 1,000 people.  We really need a clear, long-term strategy for providing more beds and building new facilities.”

MacLeod concludes: “The Minister’s announcement is a small step forward, but not nearly enough to increase the number of qualified staff to assist resident with the activities of daily living. Five-dollar a day meal allowances, one bath a week, one diaper change per day, persistent bed sores, and widespread reports of alleged abuse, must become a thing of the past.”

The ACE Team was started in 2006. It is composed of concerned family members who are appalled by the deteriorating quality of care in nursing homes, and who want to improve the overall standard of living for the elderly.

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For more information, contact:

Gary MacLeod, Chair, ACE Team,  ablegrafix1@ns.sympatico.ca

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