TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing $5.5 million to create three new Behavioural Specialized Units (BSUs) at long-term care homes in Brampton, Etobicoke, and Timmins, as well as increasing funding to all 21 specialized units across the province. These additional specialized beds are a part of the Your Health plan to connect individuals with complex care needs like dementia to care in the comfort of a home instead of a hospital.
“Expanding the number of Behavioural Specialized Units will help Ontarians with complex needs access care in the comfort of a home, instead of a hospital,” said Stan Cho, Minister of Long-Term Care. “These additional beds will allow seniors with dementia and severe cognitive impairment to move out of hospitals and receive safe, quality care.”
The new BSU investments are:
$1,027,200 for a 26-bed BSU at Peel Manor in Brampton;
$1,128,700 for a 17-bed BSU at Kipling Acres in Etobicoke; and
$312,800 for an eight-bed BSU at Golden Manor in Timmins.
The three new BSUs bring 51 new specialized beds to the province, bringing the total number of BSUs to 21 with 398 beds in homes across the province. The remaining $3.1 million in funding will be invested in all 21 designated BSUs across the province to provide more training to staff and ensure residents are receiving the highest quality care.
These units within long-term care homes specialize in care for individuals with complex behaviours as a result of cognitive conditions like dementia by providing increased staffing, a tailored environment, focused behavioural assessment and enhanced care planning.
People with complex behaviours due to cognitive conditions like dementia are often more difficult to place in long-term care homes because of the specialized care required to support them. Expanding the number of BSU beds helps increase the number of complex Alternate Level of Care hospital patients and community members who can get the care they need in long-term care homes and avoid hospitalization.
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. 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.
Specialized Units provide long-term care home residents with accommodation, care, services, programs and goods, and are designated under the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021. The designation of Specialized Units provides Ontario Health with the flexibility to address the needs of specialized populations whose needs cannot otherwise be met.
This announcement follows on the government’s investment of $5.9 million to create and operate four BSUs at long-term care homes including Ajax, Penetanguishene and Scarborough.
Through a $6.4 billion investment, the government is building more than 30,000 net new long-term care beds in Ontario by 2028 and upgrading more than 28,000 older beds to modern design standards.
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 commitment of up to $4.9 billion to create thousands of new positions for personal support workers and nurses in long-term care.
"Over 300,000 Ontarians live with dementia today, with another 67,000 expected to develop dementia by the end of this year. While the majority are able to live at home with proper supports, for many a move to long-term care becomes their only option. Staff trained in person-centred communication techniques with special knowledge of how dementia affects a person’s care needs are better equipped to support residents with complex behaviours. Today’s investment will provide additional safe, responsive care spaces in three communities across the province, offering a dignified and personhood-affirming alternative to prolonged hospital stays."
- Cathy Barrick
CEO, Alzheimer Society of Ontario
"Residents in long-term care have unique and complex care needs often presenting with multiple co-morbidities, frailty and medical conditions that require specialized care. We welcome the province’s investment in Behavioural Specialized Units recognizing the transformative impact they have on the lives of long-term care residents. Additional funding at Kipling Acres will support specialized care, accommodation, services, and programs for residents with heightened responsive behaviours who cannot be safely and effectively managed in other long-term care resident home areas."
- Jennifer Dockery
General Manager, Seniors Services and Long-Term Care, City of Toronto
"Expanding access to necessary, specialized health care is a priority, especially for rural northern communities like Timmins, where residents have to travel four to eight hours to receive treatment. With this funding, Golden Manor will be able to provide behavioural assessment and enhanced care, focused on the needs of the individual experiencing complex dementia-related behaviours. We appreciate the provincial government’s commitment to improving long-term care and ensuring our seniors receive the quality of care and quality of life they deserve."
- Michelle Boileau
Mayor, City of Timmins
"We are very excited to receive this funding for our Behavioural Specialized Unit at Peel Manor, which will soon be part of the new Seniors Health and Wellness Village at Peel Manor in Brampton. This funding will help us provide specialized supports for people living with dementia through an individualized emotion-based care approach, which aims to connect with people in meaningful ways by valuing their unique life experiences and dementia journey. This innovative care model will provide much needed support for our hospital and long term care partners, and the community."
- Nando Iannicca
Regional Chair, Peel Region