In Ontario today, 200,000 people have dementia and they need your help. The presence of dementia adds complexity to the treatment and management of other health conditions, increasing the challenge of care by a factor of 10.
Today, a person in Ontario will wait an average of almost 4 months for a long-term care bed. This wait time varies considerably across the province with some regions waiting over 8 months. After they receive a bed, a quarter of them are put on anti-psychotic medication to control behaviours, even though these medications are not clinically recommended for this population and there are effective non-drug alternatives available. The high use of these drugs is an indication that staff are not equipped with effective non-drug alternatives and lack time to seek additional training.
Solutions to these problems exist. I am asking you, as a member of the Legislature, to commit to reducing these challenges by supporting a comprehensive strategy to:
1. Make dementia clients and their families the priority in the next round of community funding through explicit policies for the provision of dementia care in the community.
2. Establish a fair and standardized wait time for long-term care so that persons with dementia have equal access and do not wait longer in some parts of the province.
3. Provide for more staff in long-term care with specific skills to support persons with dementia. Use Behavioural Supports Ontario as the model.
Working together, we can offer people living with dementia and their caregivers the best care for today, and for all Ontarians the best hope for tomorrow.
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To learn more, visit our website at www.alzheimerontario.ca
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