TORONTO – A new survey by Ipsos shows that Ontarians have widespread concern about the level of funding and care for seniors living in the province’s long term care homes. The questions put to Ontarians in the study canvassed views on the need for the government to focus on the long-term care sector as a priority, and opinions on the areas that need urgent attention within the sector.
“The survey results send a clear message to government and all parties that more investment is urgently needed for long term care,” says Hank Beekhuis, CLAC Ontario director. “Our members and all front-line caregivers are struggling to keep up with increasing care needs and demands. Adding caregivers has been proven to positively impact resident care, health outcomes, and safety. We need action now.”
CLAC/Ipsos Survey Key Findings
- 97% of Ontarians agree improving the quality of care in long-term care facilities should be a priority to government.
- 90% agree long-term care homes need more staff and healthcare outcomes will improve by adding additional front-line staff.
- 75% agree there is increased risk of violence to residents and staff due to inadequate staffing levels.
- 70% agree patients requiring long term care have significantly worse health problems than in the past.
CLAC has represented workers in the long-term care sector for over 50 years. During that time, residents’ care needs have increased significantly. Today, 60 to 70 percent of residents requiring long term care have some form of dementia, and close to 100 percent have other significant needs. The CLAC/Ipsos survey is consistent with a poll conducted by the Ontario Long Term Care Association in 2014 and previous surveys done by Ipsos.
“Increasing front-line staff in the sector by two percent above inflation is estimated to cost an additional $70 million per year,” says Beekhuis. “Experience elsewhere proves that it will have a huge impact on patient care and health outcomes. The government must recognize that people are entering long term care with greater needs, and it must provide funding for additional staff to properly look after residents during this vulnerable time of life.”
These are the findings of an online Ipsos survey conducted between March 6 and 8, 2017. A total of n= 801 interviews were completed, among Ontarians 18+. The sample is representative of the Ontario population based on age, gender and region. The credibility interval for the total sample of n=801 is ± 4.0 percentage points, 95% of the time.
For more information, read CLAC’s submission to the Ontario government Patients First: A plan to combat pressures in Ontario’s long term care system.