Wilson pushes for new Simcoe-Grey Long-Term Care Beds
(November 20, 2008) Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson says the McGuinty Liberals should be feeling shame today after refusing to deal with the legitimate fear that many of the 19,000 senior citizens in Simcoe-Grey have about the critical shortage of long-term care beds in their local communities.
“The contempt the Liberals have shown towards the seniors of my riding is disgraceful,” said Wilson who was shocked when education minister Kathleen Wynne and social services minister Deb Matthews heartlessly shouted: “Why should we care about seniors in Simcoe-Grey?” across the floor of the Legislature.
The Liberals used their majority to vote down Wilson’s Resolution that was debated in the Legislature today that called upon the McGuinty government to build more long-term care beds in Simcoe-Grey to reduce the massive backlog of seniors who are waiting as long as a year for a nursing home bed.
“Ontario’s long-term care facilities are 99.9% full 100% of the time,” said Wilson in the Legislature while also noting that every nursing home in Simcoe-Grey is at capacity. “Look at Simcoe Manor in Beeton,” he said. “There are currently 124 people waiting to get in there while another 85 are anxiously awaiting admission to Good Samaritan in Alliston. Look North to Collingwood and you’ll see there are 108 individuals on the waiting list at Bay Haven and there’s a minimum of 45 people in the same boat trying to get into Collingwood Nursing Home.”
Wilson also pointed to waiting lists at other homes which included a 45 person wait at Stayner Nursing Home, 60 people who are waiting to get a spot in Elmvale at Sara Vista, while 300 people wait for a nursing home bed in the Grey-Bruce area.
“People must understand that with these waiting lists it can take up to a year to get into a nursing home,” explained Wilson. He also noted that the last significant investment in long-term care in Ontario was under the previous government who invested $2.1 billion and built 20,000 new beds and upgraded 16,000 of the province’s oldest beds.
Moreover, he suggested that as many as 400 people in our catchment areas, including Simcoe and Grey counties are stuck in hospitals awaiting placement in nursing homes.
“Seniors deserve to be cared for as close to home as possible,” Wilson told his colleagues in the Legislature. “Family members who are able to lend a hand with the care of their loved ones often find it impossible to travel long distances on a regular basis to provide care and they worry about the emotional well-being of their loved ones when they are so far from home and the support network they need.”