Services are as strong as the people who provide them. Currently, there are not enough people to care for older adults. Frustrations drive many away from this work. Those who provide care need and deserve pay, benefits, working conditions, and opportunities that reflect the value of what they do. When conditions for workers in congregate settings are improved, those for workers in the community need to improve along with them.
To have enough dedicated, qualified workers, we must first fix what’s wrong. We also need an overall workforce strategy. Such a large undertaking takes cooperation. We advocate for departments, ministries, and the provincial and the federal government to work together to supply the workers older adults need.
Just as important as paid workers are the unpaid ones – often family, friends, and neighbours – who currently provide about three-quarters of care in the home. We need to support them with policies and services that keep them safe and healthy while they care for others.
We Need More Personal Support Workers
Long-term care homes overflow, and community services struggle. There aren’t enough workers to provide care to older Ontarians. A true long-term care staffing plan will include improved pay, benefits, and working conditions for personal support workers in the community as well as in long-term care homes.
A Labour Strategy for Personal Support Workers
We call them heroes, but that’s not how they feel. We hear they have to work too hard, are paid too little, and don’t get the support they need to do their jobs safely. Veronica shows us what that looks like
Personal Support Workers: A Shortage
Personal support workers are the backbone of home care. Older ones are retiring, fewer are entering the field, and many current ones don’t stay. We call on ministries responsible for health, long-term care, older adults, immigration, and education to establish and support a pool of community-based personal support workers.