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Spinal Cord Injury Ontario

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Press Release: Shedding light on the shortcomings of home care for Canadians with disabilities

[TORONTO]: A CBC Marketplace report is shedding light on the shortcomings of home care that are failing thousands of Ontarians.

Close to one million Canadians are dependent on some type of home care support, yet gaps in the system reveal missed care visits, underpaid and double booked staff and family members having to step in to provide care as a final resort.

The pandemic has certainly exposed the hardships and fractures in the home care system. Repeatedly, people with disabilities have been advocating for additional resources in the community, but with no success. There has not been a substantial investment in home and community care to resolve waitlists in more than a decade. Further, there is no platform from which data can be gathered on home care to articulate the needs and demands of the community. Recruitment and retention of PSWs in Ontario continues to be a major problem – without regulation and increased wages, this workforce will never be able to be properly sustained.

“The need to modernize service delivery and change the scope of practice is vital for our diverse community and SCIO. That’s why we continue to lead opportunities and facilitate partnerships that address these gaps and solicit positive change,” says Stuart Howe, Chief Executive Officer at SCIO.

Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, our federation across Canada and the University of Manitoba are conducting an environmental scan on essential needs that articulate the inconsistencies and gaps in PSW services. The evidence-informed report will be available in April 2022.

“Access to qualified and trained Personal Support Workers has been a challenge for some time. During the pandemic, this has become a critical situation, leaving those who rely on daily PSW support in untenable situations,” Peter Athanasopoulos, Director of Public Policy at SCIO.

He continues, adding that “Attendant Services needs to transform into a sustainable career in community settings so people with disabilities have access to reliable and consistent care. It is for this reason precisely why SCIO continues to advocate for change. SCIO is making formal recommendations for the next Government of Ontario that include Mandatory Standards of Practice within a Client-Centered Model, investing in education and training, both to better invest in a health care career to further improve the quality of services, and to ensure baseline requirements are met. Most importantly, oversight needs to be established; an arms-length oversight and governance organization to provide objective remediation for client complaints and conflict resolution between the Attendant Services/Personal Support Worker and the client – it’s the only way to see less of these kinds of stories.”

SCIO is committed to advocating for home care and PSW services. Many members of our community rely on round-the-clock support for everyday tasks including getting up from bed, transferring to a wheelchair and in some cases, being able to have a meal.

Next week, SCIO will be launching the Your Move, Ontario information hub, a space dedicated to better help you get involved. The government has the responsibility to close gaps and bring equity and inclusion to the people of Ontario with disabilities. Most importantly, these solutions will enable fuller inclusion for people with disabilities. So many advances have been made, yet still, Canadians with disabilities are not receiving the services and support they deserve to live the life they choose.

 

For more information or to request an interview, Contact:

Amanda Davis, [email protected], 416-422-5644, ext. 212

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