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Health-care facilities in crisis

Too many problems to face for long-term care home staff and residents.
(TBT News)

THUNDER BAY -- Local union members are raising alarm bells about the problems many long-term care homes face, both for staff, and the residents living there.

An information rally was held outside Lakehead Manor on Vickers Street Thursday afternoon.

Organizers say it was to bring attention to the fact that long-term care facilities, like this one run by Revera, are understaffed, and the employees are overworked.

Unifor reps told the crowd what the working conditions are really like, and the difficulties the job entails.

Unifor's director of health care, Andy Sevala, says while the government is concerned with the small details, there are still no regulations on what really matters.

“You know they will react so strongly and there are all these standards in place for a lot of the other details,” Sevala said.

“There are no standards in place in terms of long-term care operator’s obligations to the standard of care that they are providing for the residents to live in the facilities.”

Unifor Local 299 president Kari Jefford wants to see improved staffing levels and funding for long-term care workers.

“There’s no regulation or minimum standard to say that someone living in long-term care you deserve four hours of case in a 24 hour period,” Jefford said.

“We don’t have a regulation of that and that’s criminal.”

Unifor members say they'd like a ratio of one nurse for every five residents, as they currently see a one-to-28 ratio, and some places are stretched as far as one-to-60.

The executive director at Lakehead Manor was not available to comment on the rally, or the claims made by the union.


Unifor is asking the public to question their local MPP's about what they're doing to help improve staffing at long-term care homes.

(TBT News)