Better access to quality home care and long-term care

Our parents and grandparents built this country. As they age, they deserve to live in comfort and safety. Every senior must have access to the care they need to help them remain in their own homes. Family caregivers deserve more support – and should never have to worry about whether their loved ones are getting good care. And every Canadian of every age deserves to live in dignity and be treated with respect by their government and the health care system.

But that’s not happening today.

People are stuck waiting for home care. Seniors are spending years without the long-term care they need now. And family caregivers feel overwhelmed as they carry an enormous amount of work on their shoulders. This is what happens when Liberal and Conservative governments fail to invest in the services that Canadians need. It’s people, not politicians, who pay the price.

While all provinces and territories fund home care services as part of publicly insured health care, there are inconsistent standards - and when it comes to long-term care, understaffing at residential homes is an ongoing problem across the country. Ongoing staffing shortages make for poor quality care and leave health care workers at risk of experiencing workplace violence.

It’s time to work with the provinces and territories to take a new approach to addressing the complex health care needs of our aging population. It’s time for a government on the side of aging Canadians, their families, and frontline health care workers.

New Democrats believe that families need access to quality home care and long-term care, no matter where they live. To that end, we will work collaboratively with patients, caregivers, and provincial and territorial governments to develop national care standards for home care and long-term care that will be amended into the Canada Health Act.

By doing so, a New Democrat government would legally protect access to home care and long-term care services, and ensure a consistent quality of care across the country. This process will include determining a core basket of home care services that will be available and covered by provincial insurance plans and setting minimum national care standards for long-term care residents. We will also work with the provinces to develop and support violence prevention strategies to protect front-line staff and ensure a safe working environment.

Elevating the quality of care provided in long-term care homes will protect residents and health care professionals, and give families and caregivers peace of mind.

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