Seniors in need of care deserve action, not more delay
Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin says it’s long since time for the McNeil Liberals to take action to protect both seniors in care and seniors who need to be in care.
Nova Scotia has been without a continuing care strategy since 2015. Two years ago, the Nova Scotia Nurses Union released a report called Broken Homes, which included 15 recommendations to improve continuing care in the province. Rodney MacDonald was the last Nova Scotia Premier to commit to building new long-term care beds more than a decade ago through a 10-year continuing care strategy.
The Cumberland North MLA noted that the Liberals have not replaced the former PC government’s strategy since it came to an end in 2015. According to the 2016 Census, Nova Scotia is now home to more than 183,000 seniors, compared to the 144,000 seniors that lived in Nova Scotia when the last continuing care strategy was released in 2006.
“Nova Scotia seniors built this province and they deserve a better answer on long-term care than to keep on waiting,” said Smith-McCrossin. “Our seniors deserve action. Our seniors deserve a safe place to live out what’s supposed to be their golden years, whether that’s at home or in a long-term care facility.”
As PC Leader, Smith-McCrossin will fight for:
- A new Continuing Care Strategy to increase the number of long-term care beds to match the demand from the growing seniors’ population;
- Changes to the Homes for Special Care Act to update staffing ratios that haven’t changed in over 30 years;
- Hiring nurse practitioners to work in long-term care facilities to help improve care for seniors and manage workload demands;
- Tough penalties on facilities that aren’t complying with the Homes for Special Care Act.
“We’ve heard reports of Nova Scotians needlessly dying in facilities, due to serious questions about the standard of care they received,” added Smith-McCrossin. “But when Stephen McNeil is asked to do something, he says it’s going to take another year or two, after doing nothing for the last several years. Enough is enough. Our seniors deserve action.”
It was revealed in March that more than 1,100 Nova Scotia seniors are waiting for a long-term care bed. Meanwhile, more than 21 per cent of acute care beds in Nova Scotia hospitals were taken up by seniors who needed to be in long-term care.