Government votes no to basic standards in seniors care

The government voted down a bill that would have put basic standards back into seniors care.

 The Residents in Care Bill of Rights Act was voted on in the Legislature today. NDP MLAs voted unanimously for the private member’s bill put forward by Danielle Chartier, NDP heath critic, while government MLAs voted against the bill.

"This government has a seniors care crisis on its hands, and is refusing to do much of anything about it," said Chartier. "A significant part of the problem is this government's elimination of minimum standards that has led to understaffing, underfunding and absolutely unacceptable treatment of residents living in care facilities."

Chartier pointed to stories of seniors in care facilities not being given the time nor the help to eat meals, being left to soil themselves because no one is around to help them to the bathroom, and not even getting one bath a week.

Under the NDP's proposed law, each care home would have been required to have a residents in care bill of rights, created in consultation with residents and their families. Each bill of rights would have had to guarantee the right of residents to individualized care plans, based on input from the resident and their family members, which would have met or exceeded newly set, province-wide minimum quality of care standards.

Such legislation was recommended by the government's own Law Reform Commission.

“Seniors living in care homes deserves regular meals, regular baths and a minimum amount of one-on-one care. They deserve to have a caregiver help them to and from the bathroom in a timely manner. They deserve to know that when they ring a call bell, help will actually come in a timely manner,” Chartier said. “This legislation would have been a positive step toward fixing seniors care and it’s extremely disappointing that this government voted against it.”

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For more information, contact:
Doyle Fox, NDP caucus