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ELECTION ISSUES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS

Ontario's provincial election on Thursday June 7, 2018 is just a week away. This election is an important opportunity to influence policies that affect senior citizens right across the province. Care Watch's focus in this election is accessible home care and community support services

The level of commitment to home care and community support services varies widely from party to party. Please consider what the different parties are prepared to do, or not prepared to do for seniors when you make your decision about where to cast your vote.

Seniors can be a force for change in the Ontario election next week to help make dignified ageing at home a reality. We encourage everyone to actively participate in the election process and make their vote count!
 



Please share this message with other people and organizations who are similarly concerned about services for seniors in Ontario

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2018 Election Update
Date: May 2018

Seniors – Your Vote Counts
Parties and candidates should earn your vote!




 

May 2018 Newsletter – Provincial Election Update
The provincial election is Thursday, June 7, 2018. Ontario’s senior citizens will have the opportunity to directly influence how our province is governed, and to advocate for policies and programmes in the interest of seniors. Seniors need to know the positions that the provincial parties and the local candidates who are seeking your votes are taking. 
Care Watch has summarized the information we have been able to obtain so far on the various parties’ positions as they relate to senior citizens.
See our election analysis at: https://carewatchontario.com/elections-2018/

Care Watch – a senior-led organization – is focusing on the issues of home care and community support services.  Overwhelmingly, Ontario’s senior citizens say they want to live independently and in their homes as long as possible. They need support and services that facilitate aging in place - services like personal care, homemaking, transportation, meals, and adult day services. These services are called community support services, and they are delivered by personal support workers (PSWs) and volunteers through community agencies across Ontario.

Care Watch strongly believes that:

  • Ontario’s senior citizens are entitled to equitable access to a comprehensive range – or basket – of services that will help them to age safely in their own homes, regardless of where they live.
    • These include services such as personal care, homemaking, transportation, meals, adult day services, caregiver support and care coordination.  
  • Community support services should have reliable, publicly administered funding, and be delivered by not-for-profit community organizations. These services should receive:
    • a 3% annual increase to bring their funding into line with funding to institutions;
    • an additional 2% annual increase so these services can grow province-wide; and
    • annual adjustments for inflation.
  • Personal support workers (PSWs) in the community should be paid on par with institution-based PSWs. Their working conditions should be stable, fair and safe.
  • Providing accessible and appropriate home care and community support services will help reduce hospital overcrowding and wait times as well as overall health care costs.
The following chart provides a brief overview of the parties’ proposals that directly or indirectly relate to the ability of Ontario’s senior citizens to age safely in their own homes and community.  For more information on commitments respecting seniors made by the parties and CW’s analysis (as of May 25th), please see: https://carewatchontario.com/elections-2018/party-election-responses/ . Also, ask candidates who contact you to tell you specifically what they will do to improve services for senior citizens. See potential questions of interest to seniors at: https://carewatchontario.com/elections-2018/provincial-election-backgrounders/
 
Issue Issue Summary C.W. Comments
Home Care and Community Support Seniors want to age safely at home and in their own communities.

Current levels of home care and community support do not allow them to do this.
Green Party generally supports increased funding to home and community care.

Liberals have doubled services in home and community care, and increased personal support hours, and nursing and therapy visits. Propose to invest $650 million more over 3 years.

NDP will increase funding by $300 million and ensure equitable access province-wide.

PCs have not acknowledged the issue.
Hospital Care Long waits for beds in hospitals.

Overcrowded emergency departments.

Many patients occupying hospital beds waiting for admission to long-term care homes; some of them could live in their own homes with support.
All parties propose significant increases in funding to hospitals and pledge to build more hospital beds. 

CW seeks greater balance in the funding of institutions and home care and community supports – a better use of our health resources.
Personal Support Workers (PSWs) Employment for PSWs, especially those working in the community, is precarious. They earn low wages and must generally work multiple jobs, with no benefits, to make ends meet. Green Party makes a vague commitment to “ensuring reasonable working conditions and compensation,” but focuses on increasing PSW accountability.

Liberals raised the minimum wage for PSWs; will introduce a pension option.

NDP will improve working conditions and wages for PSWs.

PCs have not addressed this issue.

No party has proposed a credible plan to improve the PSW labour pool.
Long-Term Care (LTC) Long waits for long-term care beds.

Seniors often do not get their first choice of care location.

Increasing numbers of residents have complex health and mental health needs.

Staff and resident safety are growing concerns.
All parties vow to increase the number of LTC beds, usually over three to 10 years.

Liberals commit to a provincial average of 4 hours of daily care.

NDP would also establish a minimum 4 hours of direct daily care for residents.

No party adequately addresses staffing ratios to improve services for residents and safety for all, given increasing complexity of resident needs.
Primary (Medical) Care Many seniors have difficulty accessing primary care services in a timely manner.

Many do not have a family doctor; some rely on emergency services for primary care.
Liberals have increased funding to community health centres, Aboriginal health access centres and nurse practitioner services. Moved funding control for primary medical care to the LHINs.

NDP will significantly increase the number of community or primary health centres, including in rural, northern and Indigenous communities.

PCs have not addressed this issue.
Pharmacare Drugs are becoming more expensive.

Seniors must pay for drugs not on the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary.

Many seniors have trouble affording these drugs and may delay or forgo treatment.
Liberals will make 4,400 drugs free for seniors as of August 1st, 2019

NDP will make 125 drugs free for all Ontarians and expand the list over time.

PCs will introduce pharmacare for low income seniors.
 .Not-for-Profit.  Ÿ  Volunteer-Run.  Ÿ  Senior-Led.
Care Watch Ontario 140 Merton St, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M4S 1A1. (416) 590 - 0455 | carewatchontario.com
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