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ONTARIO ⚕️💵 Ontario Connecting Long-term Care Residents to More Nutritional Food Choices

Saturday, 27 May 2023 08:00.AM

- $32 million investment helping long-term care homes provide a broader range of healthy menu options -

The government of Ontario is investing an additional $32 million this year to expand healthy menu options for long-term care residents, including a broader range of culturally inspired meals. This investment builds on the 15 per cent - or over $40 million – increase to nutritional support funding for long-term care homes last year.

“We believe long-term homes should be homes, not institutions, and a good meal is essential to good living,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care. “That’s why for the second year in a row, we’re providing a major increase to improve the quality and variety of food for residents in long-term care.”

The Ontario Government’s new regulations under the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021, that came into effect on July 11, 2022, ensure residents are provided with more individualized food choices, more fresh produce and local foods in season, and additional menu flexibility. Over the last two years, the government has increased funding for food and nutrition quality by more than 26 per cent.

The government is fixing long-term care to ensure Ontario’s seniors experience the quality of care and quality of life they need and deserve, both now and in the future. The plan is built on four pillars: staffing and care; quality and enforcement; building modern, safe and comfortable homes; and connecting seniors with faster, more convenient access to the services they need.

Quick Facts

• This year’s 9.7 per cent increase to the nutritional support funding envelope is part of the overall increase of 2.4 per cent distributed across Level of Care (LOC) envelopes to all Ontario long-term care homes in 2023-24. Total provincial base LOC funding to long-term care homes is increasing by approximately $108.6 million this year, which amounts to $4.67 per person per day.
• The Ontario government is providing up to $1.25 billion this year to long-term care homes to hire and retain thousands more long-term care staff. This is part of the government’s historic four-year, $4.9 billion commitment to increase the provincewide average direct care time provided to residents to four hours per day by March 31, 2025.
• Supported by an investment of $72.3 million, Ontario has doubled the number of long-term care inspectors in the field to respond to complaints and critical incidents, to ensure every resident experiences the quality of care they deserve. Ontario is a leading province in terms of inspector per long-term care home ratio in Canada, with one inspector for every two homes in the province.
• Through a $6.4 billion investment, Ontario now has over 30,000 new and 28,000 upgraded long-term care beds in development across the province. This will help increase overall bed capacity, address long-term care waitlists and hallway health care, and provide our seniors the care they deserve.

"Healthy and enjoyable meals are essential for our residents. The government’s increased investment in nutritional food funding will improve menu choices, increase fresh food options and allow for more culturally inspired meals. Improving the quality of resident experiences will help our seniors live fulfilled and vibrant lives in long-term care. We are grateful for this support."
- Dr. Michael Guerriere, President and CEO, Extendicare

SOURCE: Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care

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