News Releases

and Editorials

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Editorial

Home Care Crisis in Ontario

Home care is an essential part of elder care and is a critically important approach to allowing people to age in place. Most elders expect to and hope to remain at home as they age. And home care is a good investment for governments because it is far less costly than hospitalization or long-term care.

Unfortunately, home care in Ontario is in crisis. The Ford government is so intent on pouring money into long-term care institutions that the quality and quantity of home care is in dire straits.

 

Vulnerable people in Ontario are the ones suffering.   ......

 

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Editorial

THOSE WHO FAIL TO LEARN FROM HISTORY ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT: THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT’S ATTEMPT TO REFORM LONG-TERM CARE

For fifty years, Ontario’s institutional long-term care system has defied one government after another as it attempted to legislate reforms and enforce its own legal standards.

 

Everything old is new again as the current government tries to convince Ontario citizens that having the ability to take over and manage a long-term care facility is actually a new initiative.  It is not.  The Minister has had the ability to take over facilities since the 1980’s by using the Health Facilities Special Orders Act – a fact of which the current Ontario government appears unaware.     ......

 

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Editorial

ONTARIO’S OWN JIM CROW: FORCED SEGREGATION OF

DISABLED ELDERS

Most are familiar with the Jim Crow laws in the United States that segregated Black people from White people.  In 2010 Michelle Alexander, an African American civil rights advocate, wrote The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.  It was a brilliant treatise on the re-creation of a caste system in the United States that locked millions of African Americans behind bars, ensuring their second class status for the rest of their lives.  Alexander’s book has lessons to teach us all about castes, labeling, discrimination, exclusion, segregation, and incarceration and how a society can ignore the pain and despair these cause labeled, devalued, and marginalized people when it looks the other way......

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Editorial

WHERE IS THE LINE?

In this editorial SSAO asks where is the line to be drawn between a provincial government, its former employees, and an industry regulated, inspected, and subject to enforcement by the same government.

It outlines how an expose by the Toronto Star drew attention to the number of lobbyists who were former staffers or political operatives affiliated with the Ford government, who went to work as lobbyists for the long term care industry, and it describes how that industry appeared to benefit from the government's funding policies.

Again, readers are left to draw their own conclusions, and ask their own questions about these kinds of arrangements and why they might be occurring.

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Editorial

GET THEM OUT! AND KEEP THEM OUT!

Get them out! That is the demand by the head of the Center For Disability Rights in the U.S. after it was found that those living in the community rather than long term care facilities were much safer in spite of there being no difference in levels of frailty between residents in each setting.

Dr. Amenta makes the argument that institutionalization is itself a public health concern and needs to be treated as such so that safer age-friendly communities with staffing support can be developed in order to make reliance on institutions a thing of the past.

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Editorial

ALL SYSTEMS FAILED

Many of us will remember watching in horror as two planes hit the World Trade Centre and another the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001 – exactly 20 years ago today.  We will remember feeling sympathy for the families of the 2977 people lost, and we will also remember America going to war in two Middle Eastern countries not long afterwards.

There was outrage and there was sorrow.

 

Last year 15,459 residents became infected with COVID-19 in long term care facilities in Ontario.  3793 residents and 13 staff died......

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Editorial

WHY IS ONTARIO SO FAR BEHIND ON LONG TERM CARE?

Canada has long prided itself on being more socially conscious than the U.S., but something has gone awry when it comes to long term care.

 

Let’s examine the policy platform of the new President of the United States..........

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Editorial

A Home for Mom and Dad

We are all aware of the abysmal state of eldercare in Ontario, where home care is minimal, where attempting to support aging parents is often overwhelming for families, and where the absence of other choices forces thousands of old people into long term care institutions. 

 

We know that a system that is based primarily on institutions (most of which are operated for profit) cannot provide elderly people with the support they require to have a good life. ..........

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Editorial

A TRANSFORMATIVE VISION FOR LONG TERM CARE IN ONTARIO

Christine McMillan is 91 years old, has a wealth of real world experience, and founded OASIS along with Brian Brophy while President of Frontenac Kingston Council on Aging.  OASIS is a naturally occurring retirement community located in an apartment building owned by Homestead Landholding Inc. Hers and Brian’s intent was to build a community of tenants and introduce a program that would include formal and informal social events, exercise programs, guest speakers, skill sharing and other projects as well as affordably priced congregate dining.  An onsite coordinator would help tenants to access community supports as their needs changed..........

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Editorial

Creating Change in an Entrenched

Long-Term Care System: Lessons from the Past

How to make significant change in long-term care is a huge challenge. Long- term care in Ontario has been entrenched for over 40 years, even though older adults do not aspire to be institutionalized. This entrenched system has withstood numerous scathing reports and inquiries, including the recent Commission Report, and yet little has changed. Most people would agree that this is a broken system.

 

Neither the federal government nor the provinces are showing the kind of leadership we need. The recent Commission Report fails to recommend alternatives that could have made a significant difference to the lives of our vulnerable elders. Also, advocacy for change remains limited and divided.

 

So how can an entrenched system like this be changed? .........

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Editorial

LIPSTICK ON A PIG?

A strange phenomenon has emerged in Ontario’s long term care landscape.  We now have unions, some union-aligned academics and doctors, and multi-national long term care corporations all on the same page. 

All are bleating out the same message that government needs to provide more funding for staff, better pay, and more hours of care. 

Throw more money at long term care institutions and their staff!  Throw more money at the over 60% for-profit long term care owned, operated, or managed system and those who staff it and it will fix problems in long term care.  So goes the argument.

 

Some facts may be in order here. .......

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SENIORS FOR SOCIAL ACTION ONTARIO IS CALLING FOR AN INVESTIGATION OF THE FORD GOVERNMENT

 

Issued by:

Seniors for Social Action Ontario

January 5, 2021

SENIOR’S GROUP CALLS FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS

IN LONG TERM CARE

 

Issued by:

Seniors for Social Action Ontario

January 4, 2021

Also see supporting documentation here

​​FORD GOVERNMENT DISGRACES ORDER OF ONTARIO BY REWARDING FORMER PC POLITICIANS ON THE BOARDS OF LONG TERM CARE COMPANIES

 

Issued by:

Seniors for Social Action Ontario

January 1, 2021

PUBLIC STATEMENT SUPPORTING DISABILITY RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS CONCERNING A CRITICAL CARE TRIAGE PROTOCOL

 

Issued by:

Seniors for Social Action Ontario

November 30, 2020

JOINT PUBLIC STATEMENT CALLING FOR

END TO PROFIT IN LONG TERM CARE

 

Issued by:

Concerned Friends of Ontario Citizens in Care Facilities

Seniors for Social Action Ontario

Ontario Society of Senior Citizens’ Organizations

 

November 3, 2020

EARLY RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE ONTARIO COMMISSION ON LTC AND THE PANDEMIC DEAL WITH SYMPTOMS NOT CAUSES

In an attempt to bind the wound the Commission has bypassed the cure

October 23, 2020

SENIORS FOR SOCIAL ACTION ONTARIO (SSAO) STRONGLY SUPPORTS BILL 196, which would create a Senior’s Advocate Office

October 14, 2020

A DIGNIFIED OLD AGE: CARE IN THE COMMUNITY
Fall 2020 Ontario Pre-Budget Submission

October 6, 2020

PUBLIC STATEMENT THANKING OTTAWA’S AND DURHAM REGION’S MEDICAL OFFICERS OF HEALTH

September 24, 2020

SENIORS FOR SOCIAL ACTION ONTARIO CHALLENGES FORD TO EXPLAIN HIS COMMENTS CONCERNING EXTENDICARE,

AFTER NEW WEST END VILLA OUTBREAK

September 22, 2020

PROVINCIAL SENIORS ADVOCACY GROUP CALLS FOR REINSTATEMENT OF TOUGH INSPECTIONS AND PROSECUTIONS IN LONG TERM CARE FACILITIES

May 25, 2020

PROVINCIAL SENIORS ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION CALLS FOR ONTARIO’S AUDITOR GENERAL TO CONDUCT A VALUE-FOR-MONEY AUDIT INTO LONG-TERM CARE HOMES

May 22, 2020

PROVINCIAL SENIORS ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION

CALLS FOR AN INDEPENDENT PUBLIC INQUIRY

May 19, 2020