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____ Monday February 22, 2016 ____

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Long-term Care

Seniors in Kitchener Need Long-Term Care Homes Modernized and Better Dementia Care

Kitchener - Seniors living in new or newly renovated long-term care homes are experiencing first-hand the tremendous benefits these homes provide for their care and comfort. With 62% of seniors living with Alzheimer's or related dementias in long-term care homes province-wide, newer homes create a better, safer environment for all residents and staff.

"The needs of seniors in Ontario entering long-term care have risen dramatically in recent years," said Candace Chartier, CEO of the Ontario Long Term Care Association. "Too many seniors are living in homes that need to be rebuilt and modernized. Too many seniors with dementia aren't getting the supports they need to ensure their comfort and safety. Our seniors deserve better care."

At a long-term care home in Kitchener, Ms. Chartier outlined the challenges facing seniors in the Waterloo Region:

• More than 330 seniors in Kitchener (28% of those living in long-term care) are living in homes that are outdated and need to be modernized.
• The number of seniors in the Region of Waterloo over the age of 75 is expected to grow by 53% in the next 10 years and 137% in the next 20 years.

The Association's plan for action, "Better Seniors' Care," is calling for immediate action to improve seniors' care in Ontario, including:

• Implementing a plan to modernize every long-term care home in Ontario that has been classified as outdated by the province – increasing the quality of care to the 35,000 seniors who live in these homes.
• Providing long-term care homes with dedicated resources to protect and care for the more than 65,000 seniors living with dementia and responsive behaviours.
• Ensuring small and rural long-term care homes can continue to meet the growing needs of the seniors in these communities.
• Providing the necessary funding to ensure that long-term care home operators can hire the staff required to care for the growing needs of our aging population.

To help raise awareness of the challenges facing seniors living in long-term care the Association is undertaking a province-wide tour to meet with residents and families. Today's stop was at Lutheran Homes' Trinity Village.

"Thanks to our dedicated staff here at Trinity Village, we continue to provide the highest quality of care possible to our residents." said Debby Riepert, Chief Operating Officer at Trinity Village. "But we know there is more work to be done to ensure all long-term care residents across Ontario get the care they require, as their needs continue to increase."

"We need our elected officials to make providing better seniors' care a priority for the long-term. We know that Ontarians share our concern about our ability to care for their parents and grandparents," said Chartier.

"Our seniors need to know that when they can no longer be cared for at home, that the long-term care services they need will be there for them. The time for action is now."

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