Nurses’ poll challenges governments to take action on seniors’ care

Publish date: Thursday, July 09, 2015

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) released poll results today that challenge federal and provincial/territorial leadership to tackle the issue of seniors’ care. Before It’s Too Late: A National Plan for Safe Seniors’ Care, CFNU’s safe seniors strategy, addresses Canadian’s concerns regarding long term care. The poll by Abacus Data, commissioned by the CFNU in May, shows that more than three quarters of Canadians would support the implementation of national standards for continuing care. The report’s authors, Dr. Pat Armstrong, Dr. Hugh Armstrong, and Dr. Jacqueline Choiniere recommend federal continuing care legislation and a national seniors’ care standard to address seniors’ need for integrated continuing care from hospital to home to long-term care.

CFNU’s poll also found that three quarters of Canadians who have, or will likely soon have, loved ones in the continuing care system, worry about both the cost and quality of continuing care. The report highlights the cost and quality disparities between for profit, not for profit and public long-term care facilities. It calls for staffing standards that include a minimum of one RN per shift (worked hours) and 4.5 hours of direct care per resident day (worked hours) to improve residents’ quality of life.

“Seniors’ health care needs are increasing, but resources are not,” says Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions. “As frontline nurses, we are very concerned that seniors are not getting the care they deserve, whether in the hospital, home, or long-term care facilities. It’s time for federal and provincial governments to take action before it’s too late.”

In gauging the action that is needed at the provincial level, CFNU’s report calls on premiers of to implement the federal plan by responding to the following recommendations:

  • Ensuring a stable workforce by establishing a goal of 70% full-time nurses
  • Developing and maintaining adequate staffing levels
  • Delivering effective training and education regarding seniors’ health care
  • Implementing an integrated system to ensure there is coordination and communication between sectors to avoid costly complications in delivering quality care

 

Read the full report.

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