Seniors' Families Demand Care Home Investments Now Manitoba Liberals Call on Families, Seniors to Share Their Struggles
Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, MB - Manitoba Liberals were joined by family members of seniors to demand immediate investments from the Pallister PC government in personal care homes, especially increase staffing levels and wages which reports say are completely inadequate.
A report released last year from the Manitoba Association of Residential and Community Care Homes for the Elderly (MARCHE) emphasized that the provincial government is badly underfunding personal care homes, and has been for years. The Long Term and Continuing Care Association has also called for increased funding and increased staffing.
"Manitoba Seniors deserve much better care. They have been ignored by NDP and PC governments, and this pandemic has shone an even greater light on the neglect," said Manitoba Liberal Health Critic and MLA for River Heights Jon Gerrard.
Eddie Calisto-Tavares has an 88 year old father in a Personal Care Home with Alzheimer's. She said it is clear there are not enough support workers to take care of the residents in good times, never mind now with Covid-19 as families are unable to help with basic supports. Calisto-Tavares' father's personal care home has declared a Covid outbreak. She is scared for his life and that if he contracts the virus, he will have to die alone.
"The Pallister government had 6 months to prepare for the second wave and are continuing to refuse to properly invest in our seniors to keep them safe," said Callisto-Tavares. "We have to do better. Families have to stand up and advocate and not stop until we have the changes we need to personal care homes. Our seniors deserve better. The workers deserve better."
The Manitoba Liberals are calling for immediate investments to bring personal care homes up to proper staffing levels of the recommended 4.1 worked hours per resident per day.
They are also asking seniors and their families across Manitoba to share their stories of struggles and challenges for seniors, with the Manitoba Liberal MLAs, who will advocate for seniors, and compile the accounts into a report to prove to the PCs the desperate need for a Seniors' Advocate.
Since she was elected in 2016, Cindy Lamoureux, MLA for Tyndall Park and Manitoba Liberal Seniors Critic, has been calling for the creation of an independent Manitoba Seniors' Advocate with the power to research, investigate and make recommendations for all Manitoba seniors.
"If you have a story to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org," said Lamoureux. "We will treat your information confidentially and use it to compile a report that the government can't ignore. We need action for seniors now. If the PCs won't appoint a Seniors' Advocate, Manitoba Liberals will step up and be their Seniors Advocate instead."
Manitoba Liberals have been calling for proper funding of Long Term Care since the NDP froze funding in 2005. They say the situations for seniors, in many cases, have only gotten worse. In the legislature this week, when the NDP questioned an untreated cockroach infestation at Parkview Place, the Health Minister pointed out the infestation has been there since 2006.
On March 2, the Manitoba Liberals first called on the Pallister Government to develop a plan to handle Covid-19 outbreaks. In May, they called on the PCs to prepare a team of professionals to work in PCHs in the event of a second wave outbreak. In August, they supported the call to help PCHs with the costs of infection controls and PPE for Covid-19, which were not being covered by government. The PCs still have not made any changes to staffing requirements that are desperately needed.