On June 25, 2020, when speaking about long-term care, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said:

“It is a provincial responsibility. So, it is them that...have failed to support our seniors...What this recent report has shown, and quite frankly what this pandemic has shown from the very beginning, is that the job isn't being adequately done in long-term care centres across the country."

The reality in Nova Scotia is that over the past decade, long-term care operating budgets have been slashed and no new beds have been built. The result: thousands of vulnerable Nova Scotians with mobility and cognitive difficulties stuck on waitlists instead of getting the care they need

For too many families, as relatives age or require more assistance than can be provided by home care, they are unable to remain in their homes but are not in the need of the only available option, which is nursing home or residential care. More options should be available to them.

Government must recognize that, while home care has expanded, there remains a large gap in the range of “what’s next” options available for our seniors and their families. 

To access the needed incremental care, there are currently very few affordable options outside of going into residential or nursing home care.

Our Province must recognize the needs of seniors. We can do that by:

  • Building more single bedrooms.
  • Addressing the human resources challenges in our system by normalizing the workload of staff and making training more accessible.
  • Preparing for the future by creating a new option of care after home care but before nursing home care, called “Supportive Living,” that provides seniors and their families with increased choice and autonomy over care options and services.

Government needs to not only understand, but appreciate, that our seniors have the right to expect a long-term care system that is exceptional. They shouldn’t fear the system, but rather feel a sense of comfort that the government will care for them at their most vulnerable time.

Read Tim's Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau

Adapting the System to Meet Today's Needs

More Single Rooms in Long Term Care

  • A Tim Houston government commits to building at least 2,500 new single rooms to meet the current demand.
  • Total capital investment in this commitment (without federal support): $465,750,000.
  • Tim has also submitted a more ambitious proposal to the Federal Government to seek infrastructure dollars and support for a total project of 3,500 new single bedrooms, meaning an extra 1,000+ single bedrooms is possible if the Federal Government is willing to invest alongside the Province.
  • Total capital investment in this larger project (with federal support): $821,000,000, which would be shared between the two levels of government.

More Staff

  • A Tim Houston government commits to hiring 2,000 health professionals with the right skill mix to support the changing health and social care needs of residents. We need more staff and we need them to feel respected. Without them, it’s not possible to provide dignity of care. To attract the appropriate people a Tim Houston government will:
    • Reinstate the CCA training grant.
    • Resume accredited CCA training programs hosted by long-term care properties.
    • Ensure properties with 30% of unaccounted staff absences for a period of two consecutive months to an administrative audit.
    • Make the CCA registry mandatory.
    • Treat the staff and healthcare professionals with respect to make sure we don’t lose some of our most talented and committed professionals.

More Accountability — Measuring Outcomes Through Technology

  • Championing contact tracing technology.
  • Understanding exactly how much care someone is getting.
  • Monitor clinical indicators.

Preparing the System for the Future

"Supportive Living"

  • A Tim Houston government will work with communities to establish new options of government-funded care that will:
    • Provide funding to seniors for expanded housing options, while reducing the stigma attached to seniors with limited resources.
    • Provide seniors and families with increased choice and autonomy over their care options and services.
    • Ensure seniors have a comfortable, safe living environment that is truly home.
    • Allow a senior to age in place, potentially never requiring a nursing home.
    • Ensure strict regulation and accreditation.
    • Open up government-funded spaces that motivate industry - not government - to build the necessary infrastructure.

Read Tim's Full Plan for Long Term Care