CUPE, along with care givers and advocates, are rallying behind a private member’s bill that would bring a minimum standard of care to Ontario.
Heather Neiser, a personal support worker of 19 years in Hamilton, says most of the residents she cares for are 85 years of age or older with complex needs.
The amount of hands-on care given to each individual is under two hours per day, she says.
“Mouth care doesn’t happen on a regular basis because there isn’t time to brush their teeth before they have to get to the dining room.”
“If your shift starts at 6:30,” Neiser said, “you have to be in the dining room for 7:45, and you have twelve residents to get up. Tell me how that can happen.”
Neiser believes staffing is an issue not just province-wide but across the country.
CUPE’s Candice Rennick says it’s time to see this change, with a minimum standard of four hours of hands-on care daily per resident.
“Preliminary costings have suggested that this will cost the province about a billion dollars, but let’s put that billion dollars into perspective,” Rennick said. “That’s less than half of one per cent of the entire budget in the province of Ontario.”
A private member’s bill known as the Time to Care act would implement the four-hour care standard.
The bill will go to a second reading at Queen’s Park in September 2017.