Good news about long-term care
BY CANDACE CHARTIER
here has been a lot of public debate recently regarding the safety of long-term care in Ontario. been
talking to reporters, trying to set the record straight.
long-term care homes deliver exceptional care,
and statements that suggest otherwise are unacceptably
Those of us who work in long-term care know that homes
are safe, caring places for seniors and pleased
to say that the evidence backs this up.
This has all taken place at the same time as our population
of residents has become more complex. been a Herculean task for staff, and risen to the challenge.
There are two types of Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO)
teams funded by the province those located directly in
long-term care homes, and mobile teams that visit homes
Long-term care homes in Ontario are required to follow
what is recognized as the toughest piece of long-term care
legislation in North America, the Long-Term Care Homes
Act. inspected against that Act through rigorous and
unannounced government inspections.
The Ontario Long Term Care Association conducted an
analysis in 2016 that showed homes with in-home BSO
teams have lower rates of severely aggressive behaviour,
antipsychotic use, and restraint use. Other research shows
they are more successful in supporting a residentcentred culture. A research paper on these findings was
just published; you can read more on page 29.
In 2016, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
did an analysis of several years of long-term care inspections and the findings showed that the vast majority of
homes are doing well on their inspections.
These in-home teams are a good news story about longterm care. They make a significant difference, and
urging the government to fund a team in every home in
Quality and Innovation Awards 2016
Health Quality Ontario, the advisor for health
system performance, praised long-term care in 2016 for
making big strides in quality improvement and described
this as a for the health care system.
In just five years, restraint use has dropped by more than
half. Overall, 50% fewer residents are experiencing pain.
And 35% fewer residents are taking antipsychotics.
Candace Chartier is CEO of the Ontario Long Term
LONG TERM CARE TODAY
clearly an explosion of culture change and quality
improvement happening across all homes in Ontario. We
saw this in the high-quality submissions to last
Quality and Innovation Awards program. Our judges
including academics, government officials, and
advocates were impressed.
In the process of tackling quality improvement, homes are
shaking up the old institutional model of care in a major
way. shining a light on the work of these
extraordinary 2016 Quality and Innovation Award recipients, starting on page 14.
As see, the result has been not only improvements
for their residents, but often enrichment of their own work
lives as well. Keep up the great work. LTCT