We all remember former Health Minister George Smitherman tearfully promising a revolution in long-term care.
That revolution never really happened.
Now we’re beginning to wonder if modest gains made during the Smitherman years are now beginning to be reversed.
It’s been a while since the Ministry has offered us their estimate of hours of direct care nursing home residents are actually receiving. The most recent Ministry data we could find is from 2009.
Nursing homes have received a modest increase in funding this year – the largest amount going to the accommodations envelope (although the biggest percentage increase was for raw food). The smallest percentage increase went to direct care.
Last week Edgewater Gardens in Dunnville gave notice that they are reducing scheduled registered practical nurse (RPN) hours by 75 hours weekly effective February 15, 2013. The non-profit home adjacent to and operated by the Haldimand War Memorial Hospital, is putting a small portion of that back in the form of additional personal support (PSW) hours. The home says it is doing so to be “fiscally responsible,” meaning it’s about money, not about reorganizing the home to improve quality.