- Stephen Lecce, MPP
Ontario Connecting Long-term Care Residents to More Nutritional Food Choices
BRAMPTON — The government of Ontario is investing an additional $32 million this year to expand healthy menu options for long-term care residents, including a broader range of culturally inspired meals. This investment builds on the 15 per cent - or over $40 million – increase to nutritional support funding for long-term care homes last year.
“We believe long-term homes should be homes, not institutions, and a good meal is essential to good living,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care. “That’s why for the second year in a row, we’re providing a major increase to improve the quality and variety of food for residents in long-term care.”
The Ontario Government’s new regulations under the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021, that came into effect on July 11, 2022, ensure residents are provided with more individualized food choices, more fresh produce and local foods in season, and additional menu flexibility. Over the last two years, the government has increased funding for food and nutrition quality by more than 26 per cent.
The government is fixing long-term care to ensure Ontario’s seniors experience the quality of care and quality of life they need and deserve, both now and in the future. The plan is built on four pillars: staffing and care; quality and enforcement; building modern, safe and comfortable homes; and connecting seniors with faster, more convenient access to the services they need.
This year’s 9.7 per cent increase to the nutritional support funding envelope is part of the overall increase of 2.4 per cent distributed across Level of Care (LOC) envelopes to all Ontario long-term care homes in 2023-24. Total provincial base LOC funding to long-term care homes is increasing by approximately $108.6 million this year, which amounts to $4.67 per person per day.
The Ontario government is providing up to $1.25 billion this year to long-term care homes to hire and retain thousands more long-term care staff. This is part of the government’s historic four-year, $4.9 billion commitment to increase the provincewide average direct care time provided to residents to four hours per day by March 31, 2025.
Supported by an investment of $72.3 million, Ontario has doubled the number of long-term care inspectors in the field to respond to complaints and critical incidents, to ensure every resident experiences the quality of 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.
Through a $6.4 billion investment, Ontario now has over 30,000 new and 28,000 upgraded long-term care 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.
"Healthy and enjoyable meals are essential for our residents. The government’s increased investment in nutritional food funding will improve menu choices, increase fresh food options and allow for more culturally inspired meals. Improving the quality of resident experiences will help our seniors live fulfilled and vibrant lives in long-term care. We are grateful for this support."
- Dr. Michael Guerriere President and CEO, Extendicare
"Residents in Ontario’s long-term care homes get a significant amount of satisfaction and nutrition from access to healthy food options and diverse menu choices. On behalf of the residents at Extendicare Brampton and at long-term care homes across the province, I want to thank Minister Calandra and the Government of Ontario for recognizing how important this increased investment in the food and nutrition program is to residents’ quality of life. We are grateful for your historic attention to the supports we need and deserve, that will make an impact on us every day."
- Murray Woodcock President of the Residents’ Council at Extendicare Brampton, Board Director on the Ontario Association of Residents’ Council
"Residents living in long-term care homes should live with dignity and with safe, comfortable, and quality supports. Today’s commitment of an additional $32 million by the government goes a long way to improve the quality of life for Bramptonians living in long-term care homes, and ensures they have the quality, nutritious, and culturally inspired meal options they deserve."
- Prabmeet Sarkaria President of the Treasury Board and MPP for Brampton South
"Regardless of age, maintaining good health begins with healthy eating. By prioritizing this investment, we are taking proactive measures to prevent illnesses and minimize hospitalizations. This initiative will elevate the food quality for long-term care residents, providing them with a diverse selection of culturally inspired meals. The result will be improved health and an enhanced overall quality of life."
- Charmaine Williams Associate Minister of Women's Social and Economic Opportunity and MPP for Brampton Centre
"Ensuring long-term care residents are well cared for and well served is a priority for our government. This funding will facilitate better nutrition and better quality of life for residents and provide long-term care staff with more flexibility in supporting them."
- Hardeep Grewal MPP for Brampton East
"Our government is working hard to provide a greater quality of care in our long-term care homes. This increased investment will directly benefit residents right here in Brampton by ensuring they have access to high-quality and nutritious food."
- Graham McGregor MPP for Brampton North
"Our government is working with long-term care homes to enhance the quality of food given to residents and also provide a greater variety of culturally inspired meal options. This is on top of the $1.25 billion we are providing to long-term care homes to hire and retain thousands more staff to ensure we hit our goal of providing residents with four hours of direct care each day by March 31, 2025."
- Amarjot Sandhu MPP for Brampton West
2023 Ontario Budget: Building a Strong Ontario Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care Plan to Stay Open: Health System Stability and Recovery