VIDEO: Liberals Cuts to Physiotherapy Hurting Seniors: Wilson
(April 22, 2014) Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson is concerned with how the Liberal government’s cuts to physiotherapy is impacting seniors. Last week, Wilson took to the floor of the Legislature to explain to the government what he is hearing from seniors in his riding.
“I rise today because of the government's decision, which took effect last August, to drastically cut physiotherapy services to seniors. It's having a direct result of increased falls and injury to our most vulnerable population,” said Wilson. “I think our urban Premier forgets that while seniors in Toronto have lots of accessible options, it's not the same in rural Ontario.”
Wilson has been a strong opponent of the cuts to physiotherapy services since they were introduced. He believes physiotherapy is critical to keeping seniors healthy and has always said he believes the cuts will lead to reduced mobility, increase falls and ultimately more hospitalizations.
"Let me briefly explain what I'm hearing from my constituents in my riding," said Wilson. "Seniors who once had access to services in-home now struggle to travel to community clinics, as there is no public transit available."
"Seniors in retirement homes are also struggling. In six months, falls have more than doubled. One retirement home has seen the rate of falls increase 158%. This increase has a direct human cost and is resulting in a loss of independence," he continued.
"A local case study shows a decrease in mobility as a result of reduced one-on-one physiotherapy sessions. One resident in the study has had her mobility decline to the point that she is now unable to feed herself. Another resident broke a hip as a result of loss of muscle strength and balance."
The activity director of one local retirement home spoke out about how the cuts are impacting residents in that facility. "Following the cuts, the most vulnerable seniors have fallen, fractured hips and continue to lose independence and dignity, just to save the provincial government a few bucks. It is obvious to us here in the retirement home, by the numbers of increased falls and a death, that the falls prevention classes are not working."