Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca is announcing a seniors’ strategy that takes a “home-care first” approach and aims to eliminate for-profit long-term care by 2028.
Del Duca says the pandemic was a wake-up call that institutionalizing seniors through long-term care has been what he calls “one of the great mistakes of the 20th century.”
Long-term care residents bore the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the earlier waves, and after the military was called in to help at a few facilities, it issued a scathing report with details of residents suffering without proper nutrition or hydration.
The Liberals are pledging a home-care guarantee that would ensure 400,000 more seniors have access to home care in the next four years, and would boost total funding for the system by $2 billion by 2026 through 10 per cent annual increases.
They are also promising to build 15,000 more assisted living homes over the next decade.
The Liberals say they would stop renewing licences for for-profit long-term care homes next year, and would start negotiating and financing the transfer of existing homes to not-for-profit entities and municipalities.
Their goal is to build 30,000 new community long-term care spaces by 2028 and redevelop and modernize 28,000 existing spaces.
The Liberals are also promising to expand and make permanent the Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit and make the Ontario Caregiver Tax Credit refundable, tax-free and paid out throughout the year.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 26, 2022.
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