Today, the Honourable Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, and MPPs Kaleed Rasheed, Rudy Cuzzetto and Deepak Anand were at Cooksville Care Centre to announce Ontario is funding specialized long-term care support for residents with complex needs through its Behavioural Specialized Unit pilot program. The pilot program will help relieve hospital capacity pressures by helping patients with complex behaviours move from hospitals to long-term care homes faster.
As part of the pilot program, Cooksville Care Centre will receive funding to enhance its existing specialized unit. The 30-bed unit will provide support for long-term care home residents with behavioural challenges, including those with persistent or severe behaviours related to dementia.
"The long-term care home population does not look like it did 25 years ago—more residents have more complex needs that require robust and specialized support," said Minister Fullerton. "Helping patients access long-term care faster is just one example of how our government is working to meet the commitment to end hallway health care."
The Behavioural Specialized Units will:
- ensure patients waiting for long-term care receive timely access to appropriate and high-quality health care, thereby reducing unnecessary hospital admissions;
- increase specialized staff capacity at the home with additional care staff such as nurse practitioners, registered nurses and personal support workers; and
- prepare homes to better address the needs of specialized populations that cannot be met in the general population of the home.
Behavioural Specialized Units will provide residents with behavioural challenges the appropriate care they need and eventually bring residents to a point where other nursing staff can provide them with quality care as well.
"In addition to these investments, we are continuing to work with partners in the long-term care sector to ensure that Ontario has the health workforce it needs as we build a resident-centred long-term care system," said Minister Fullerton.
- New and enhanced Behavioural Specialized Units are provided one-time start-up funding for staff training, equipment and structural changes, if required.
- To date, 12 specialized units have been designated under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007. In addition to Behavioural Specialized Units, these include units that specialize in different kinds of dialysis and veteran services.
- Ontario is now accepting applications from current and potential operators to build new long-term care beds and redevelop existing ones in Ontario. Interested parties can submit an online application by March 31, 2020.