Last week’s budget provided very little immediate support for long-term care. With a waitlist of over 1,500 Nova Scotians who have been forgotten and ignored by the Rankin-McNeil Liberal government, the PC Caucus is bringing forward solutions.
Today in the Legislature, PC Leader Tim Houston and PC Critic for Seniors Barbara Adams introduced legislation to restore dignity for seniors, and provide them with the care that they deserve. Houston’s Act to Maintain Dignity for Seniors would allocate funding to build and operate 2,500 new long-term care beds.
“These bills, taken from our Dignity for our Seniors plan, will ensure that seniors have access to long-term care and appropriate staffing to support them,” says Houston. “Getting seniors the care that they deserve is a top priority for us, and should be for any serious government.”
Last week, Premier Rankin’s budget included funding for only 236 new beds over five years. Not nearly enough for the 1,500 seniors currently on the waiting list, nor the expected 20,0000 beds that will be needed by 2030, because of Nova Scotia’s ageing population.
“We have a plan, and we are not going to wait until we get into government to get started,” says Houston.
Barbara Adams, MLA for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage introduced An Act to Fund Training for Continuing Care Assistants to restore funding for the Continuing Care Assistant Bursary Fund that was previously cut by the Liberals. The bill would assist with job creation and staffing the much-needed new facilities.
“These three bills are part of the same plan,” says Adams. “The Liberal sound bites and one-off announcements don’t get results. Our plan will.”
Adams also introduced amendments to the Homes for Special Care Act to create a new option of government-funded care called ‘Supportive Living’, for when a senior requires more assistance than can be provided by home care but does not have complex medical needs and can’t afford assisted living.
“There are no options available for government-supported care, so this legislation will establish assisted living choices for seniors, where they can continue to age in place in a comfortable home environment,” says Adams. “Our province already has a long wait-list for long-term care beds, and the government needs to take concrete steps now to build the capacity that we not only need today but need to plan for tomorrow, right now.”