Ontario Connecting Long-Term Care Residents to More Hours of Direct Care
TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing up to $1.25 billion to long-term care homes this year to hire and retain thousands more long-term care staff across the province, to continue increasing the amount of direct care time provided to residents. This is part of the government’s historic four-year, $4.9 billion commitment to hire and retain more than 27,000 registered nurses, registered practical nurses and personal support workers over four years and ensure residents receive, on average, four hours of direct care per day by March 31, 2025.
“In 2018, we inherited a broken long-term care system and status quo that was no longer working so we introduced a historic plan to fix long-term care,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care. “With the largest investment in long-term care in Ontario’s history, we’re hiring more staff to increase daily direct care for residents to ensure they can continue to connect to the care they need in the comfort of their long-term care home.”
This is the third and largest annual funding increase to date that long-term care homes are receiving to reach the system-level average direct care targets set out in the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021. Direct care is hands-on care that includes personal care, such as help with dining, bathing and dressing, as well as other important tasks such as helping residents move and providing medication.
As a result of the government’s ambitious plan, more people are working in long-term care than ever before. This year’s funding will help achieve targets of an average of three hours and 42 minutes of daily direct care for residents as well as increasing hours of care from allied health professionals such as resident support aides, physiotherapists and social workers to 36 minutes per resident, per day.
The government is fixing long-term care to ensure Ontario’s seniors get the quality of care and quality of life they need and deserve both now and in the future. This work is built on four pillars: staffing and care; quality and enforcement; building modern, safe and comfortable homes; and providing seniors with faster, more convenient access to the services they need.
Achieving the system-level average target of four hours of direct hands-on care per resident, per day is being made possible by annual funding increases to long-term care homes:
$270 million in 2021-22
$673 million in 2022-23
$1.25 billion in 2023-24
$1.82 billion in 2024-25
Funding to increase daily direct care for residents is matched by annual implementation targets. Ontario successfully achieved its implementation target for 2021-22, of three hours of care provided by registered nurses, registered practical nurses and personal support workers, as well as 33 minutes of care from allied health professionals.
Through a $6.4 billion investment, Ontario now has 31,705 new and 28,648 upgraded beds in development across the province. This will help increase overall bed capacity, address long-term care waitlists and hallway health care, and provide our seniors the care they deserve.
Ontario is a leading province in terms of inspector per long-term care home ratio in Canada, with one inspector for every two homes in the province.