Residents, care partners, families rightly expect action on long-term care, says Alzheimer Society
TORONTO, July 30, 2020 /CNW/ - While welcoming the recent announcement of a commission into long-term care, the Alzheimer Society of Ontario is urging swift progress on concerns long highlighted by residents, staff, care partners, and families.
"We don't need to wait for another report to start providing better care to long-term care residents", says Cathy Barrick, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Ontario. "COVID-19 did not create the problems we're seeing now; it just drew attention to what has long been an overstretched system."
Barrick noted that nearly 90% of long-term care residents have some form of cognitive impairment, including over two-thirds who live with dementia. These residents have unique care needs—needs which are not being met in far too many homes. Instead, under-resourced homes have resorted to the dehumanising use of restraints and potentially inappropriate use of medication: residents living with dementia are three times as likely to be subjected to the daily use of physical restraints, and twice as likely to be prescribed antipsychotics without a diagnosis of psychosis. These issues long predate the current pandemic.
"Dementia and long-term care are inseparable", says Barrick. "The voices of residents, care partners, and families impacted by dementia must be given a prominent voice by the commission."
SOURCE Alzheimer Society of Ontario