COLUMN: Funding, new ideas, key to restoring dignity in long-term care

From left to right - MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, MLA Karla MacFarlane, MLA Dave Ritcey, PC Leader Tim Houston, MLA Barbara Adams, and MLA Colton LeBlanc. (Submitted photo)

From the NSPC Caucus Office

More and more seniors are saying they don’t want to go to a nursing home. But unless we present better options for care, they don’t always have a choice.

We can’t let our seniors down. So we have developed a plan to help them up.

Right now, we have 1,400 people waiting for a space in long-term care homes. The PC Caucus is committed to eliminating this list —  and then some. We know the province needs to commit to build at least 2,500 new beds, all in single rooms. 

This will mean new jobs in long-term care. Nova Scotia should be adding 2,000 new health professionals to work in the sector. The PC Caucus believes in reinstating training grants and pushing for more full-time work for the workers who got us through this pandemic.

There will be a cost. Nova Scotia hasn’t opened a single long-term care bed in seven years, and it has created a backlog. The province can budget to make this happen, but we shouldn’t be doing it on our own. 

The Federal Government should be supporting this plan for Nova Scotia. With this partnership, we can build 3,500 beds. Those 3,500 beds would clear the waitlist and provide a single room for everyone who wants one. 

We need new ideas as well.

More beds and more staff are necessary to meet the current need, BUT as our population ages, we need new options for seniors who can no longer remain at home. Presently, we have in the range of 8,000 beds in long-term care. In the next 10 years, the need could jump as high as 20,000.

Today, the options are home care, and nursing home/residential care, but not enough in between. 

The Progressive Conservative Caucus believes that the province should fund a “Supportive Living” option. This would be a new model that provides optimal care, supports the philosophy for aging in place for residents, and works for families, at a daily rate that makes sense for taxpayers. Supportive Living can and will take many different forms: apartments or a campus attached to a nursing home, and every single one of them will meet strict regulations, including infection control.

Too many seniors end up in hospitals. Why leave seniors in emergency rooms when we can free up space in our health system while giving seniors what they want?

Dignity. Respect. Choice.

Together these ideas can take away some fear from aging. The PC Caucus has a clear vision, rooted in best-practices, that will provide security and compassion for our greatest generation. 

The Progressive Conservative Caucus office of Nova Scotia 

Progressive Conservative Caucus Office

Centennial Building, Suite 1001

1660 Hollis St.Halifax, NS B3J 1V7Phone: (902) 424-2731

Toll Free: 1-800-363-1998