LONDON – With need growing across the region, MPPs Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre), Peggy Sattler (London West), and Teresa Armstrong (London-Fanshawe) are calling on the government to invest significantly in home health care and community services in the upcoming 2024 provincial budget.
“Everyone deserves the opportunity to live independently in their own home for as long as possible," said Kernaghan. "Investing in these services is both socially and fiscally responsible. As our population continues to age, giving people the chance to stay at home reduces hospital visits and premature long-term care placements.”
Home and community services provide critical support that allow Ontarians to age at home independently. Many of these essential services have been forced to rely heavily on volunteers and private donations, as provincial funding has dwindled.
“If we do not take urgent action to secure home care and support community service workers, many of our most vulnerable citizens will face a shortage of services and lose the freedom to remain in a home of their choosing,” said Sattler. “It's crucial that we address the existing wage and benefits gap and ensure that workers in this sector are compensated fairly for the invaluable work that they provide for our community.”
“We know that the solutions for increased access to home care support exist,” said Armstrong. “We know that when workers in this sector are paid a fair wage for fair working conditions, our parents and grandparents will be better supported. My colleagues and I in the Ontario NDP echo these calls for increased support.”
The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs is travelling across Ontario for the next month to hear from organizations and make decisions on what will be included in the 2024 budget.
Janet Groen, Executive Director of St. Joseph's Hospice of London
“There is a critical need and demand for improved home and community care, and support services. Warehousing our elderly is not the solution. It makes sense from a human and cost perspective to help people be at home. People prefer to receive care in their own homes and communities, and they want to age there as long as possible. With the right supports, including hospice palliative care at home, people can very often stay in their own homes - where they’d rather be - until last breaths."
Chad Callander, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels London
“Home and community care services cannot continue to support existing clients and meet the growing demand with existing funding levels, and the impacts are being felt by both organizations and clients.”