senior careBruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker joined his constituents in Durham to hear first-hand about their concerns and efforts to save Rockwood Terrace Long-Term Care Home in that town.
MPP Walker says the concerns heard at last night's public meeting are a common one across Ontario and are in response to the provincial government's continued lack of a plan to provide beds and adequate funding to seniors who need 24-hour nursing and dementia care.

"Some 80,000 seniors are today receiving long-term care; however, as many as 24,000 are not because there are not enough nursing beds. I think it's a disgrace that the government has not created more space in long-term care even though it knew all along that the system was facing a seniors' health care crisis," MPP Walker said.

"As more seniors go on the wait list and their needs become more acute, there is urgency on the government to show action and tell us what the plan is," he said.

MPP Walker said his plan is to keep calling on the Liberal government at Queen's Park to make seniors' care a priority so that those who require around-the-clock care get a bed and so that we can eliminate extended stays in hospital, saving the system money.

According to the LHIN, the South West region has 78 long-term care homes, but 60 per cent of them are crumbling and need to be rebuilt to modern standards by the year 2025.

"The baby-boomer effect is not something that just happened," MPP Walker said. "The Liberals have known of the need and yet 13 years later they still have no plan to meet the needs that are staring us in the face."

Of the 11 homes in Grey County, nine should be redeveloped, which represents some 570 nursing beds, including the 100 beds at Rockwood Terrace. In Bruce County, six of the eight homes need to be rebuilt, totaling 291 beds.

"By 2025, Grey and Bruce will be home to 6,000 more people over the age of 75, and so my constituents want to know how this government is going to ensure that we will have access to long-term care close to home.

"Seniors' care should be this government's top priority," concluded MPP Walker.

source: media release, MPP Bill Walker