New national standards for long-term care should create homes with “caring, compassionate and competent” workers who focus on injecting life into residents’ final years, a survey of 16,000 Canadians overwhelmingly concluded.

Survey results released Friday by the Health Standards Organization, with 70 percent of Ontario respondents calling for “emotion-based care that emphasizes social connection (rather than performing tasks).”

Feedback collected through detailed questionnaires between March 31 and July 31 will help inform the organization’s new “National Standard for LTC Services,” which will be open for review early next year and finalized for the fall, said the report, called “What We Hear”.

The message from the public is “loud and clear,” said Dr. Samir Sinha, chairman of the National Technical Committee for Long-Term Care Services.

“We need long-term care where residents live in homes that feel like homes, where staff are valued and supported, and we are thinking about the value of residents’ lives and not just meeting their basic care needs,” he said. Sinha, director of geriatrics for Sinai Health and University Health Network.

While the Health Standards Organization already has standards to accredit Canadian nursing homes, the federal government promised it would update them after the pandemic exposed deep flaws, leaving residents in dirty underwear or workers with mere moments to wake up and dress the people in your care.

Advocates are now calling for the new standards to be mandatory. Without saying exactly how it will spend the money, the federal government has pledged $ 9 billion over five years to help the provinces improve long-term care.

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Most of the respondents were women. About a third were over 65 years old and identified as family or friends who were caring for them.

Many called for an end to for-profit housing, according to the survey. They wanted long-term care to be safe, but also to create the conditions for residents to remain as independent as possible. Respondents wanted more funding to provide care that “reflects the value and respect that seniors living in households deserve.”

Most of these lawsuits echo calls for mental and spiritual well-being from residents of Ontario’s two nursing home industry associations, along with the Long-Term Care Commission on COVID-19.

The commission’s final report recommended provincial funding models that prioritize the needs of residents. Industry associations say they want a new focus on jobs of value for employees and regulations that support person-centered (or emotion-centered) care.

Ontario will open its Long-Term Care Homes Act of 2007 this fall.

He promises to legislate four hours of daily care by 2025. Last week, long-term care minister Rod Phillips announced $ 270 million to hire another 4,000 front-line workers by next year, saying he can help a nursing home. of 160-bed seniors to hire six more registered nurses, 12 new registered practical nurses and 25 personal support workers, increasing care to about three hours a day. Industry and unions said the new staff will not fill the void left by the recent exodus of workers.

The survey results leaned heavily in favor of emotion-focused care, but Ontario’s plan to increase hours of care without a commitment to these resident-centered approaches “just won’t be enough,” Sinha said.

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“If (institutional) working conditions are not going to be fundamentally addressed within long-term care, it will be difficult to make sure that everything that is provided really meets the needs of residents, around their quality of life.

“The residents don’t want to just exist,” Sinha said. “They want to live.”

Phillips said that the new legislation for four hours of daily care “provides the opportunity for innovations such as relational or emotion-centered care.

“Our priority will always be the best quality of life for our seniors who live in our long-term care homes,” he said.

Donna Duncan, executive director of the Ontario Long-Term Care Association, which represents for-profit and nonprofit households, said the survey results show that “creating the conditions for more emotion-based care” is key.

“This is an opportunity (for the minister) to realize these findings and move away from task-based systems, to an environment that cultivates innovation to respond to how older people want and need care,” Duncan said. .

Lisa Levin, CEO of Advantage Ontario, which represents municipal and nonprofit households, said the survey results show that “Canadians are increasingly awakening to the need for emotion-centered care for people seniors, and we are so glad this was heard loud AND clean. “

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