(October 9, 2013 - Richmond Hill, ON) Toronto City Council unanimously passed a resolution today moved by Councillors Peter Milczyn and Josh Matlow calling on the federal and provincial governments to fulfill the promise of homecare. The resolution is an initiative of local SEIU Healthcare members who deliver homecare services throughout Toronto.
“We have been promised that care will be available to us when we need it most,” said Toronto resident Kristof Barocz who helped to bring the resolution to council. “However, with more than 10,000 people in Ontario currently waiting for homecare, the time to fulfill the promise of homecare is now.
By 2036, nearly one in four people in Ontario will be a senior requiring more care, medications and more attention. Governments have acknowledged that much of the problem can be answered by homecare and have promised to meet this challenge by funding and investing in homecare. So far, this has been more talk than action.
To ensure the promise of homecare is delivered, SEIU Healthcare, Canada’s largest healthcare union which represents 55,000 healthcare and community service workers in Canada, is working with members and volunteers in communities around Ontario to raise awareness of this critical issue and encourage municipal councils to voice their support for strengthening public healthcare by passing similar resolutions. Toronto is the fourth municipality to pass a resolution joining Sudbury, Ajax and SEIU Healthcare is calling on all levels of government to work together to strengthen public healthcare and fulfil the promise of homecare in the following ways:
- Cut waiting lists for homecare;
- Provide relief to family caregivers;
- Guarantee security and peace of mind for seniors and families that depend on homecare by ensuring that every health professional coming into their home is trained and qualified;
- Insist investments go the frontline, not the bottom line;
- Demand transparency and accountability; and
- Protect the heart of healthcare by attracting and retaining personal support workers with fair and reasonable compensation and incentives like retirement security.
“Ontarians deserve to get the homecare they have been promised,” said Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Healthcare. “The time for talking is over and the time to act is now.”
Councillor Ana Bailão, Ward 18, Davenport: "As more people approach retirement age than ever before, it is critical that we have the services in place to provide them with the best possible quality of life. Homecare is a central part of these services, preserving the dignity of our seniors' community by allowing residents to stay in their home while receiving the care they need. Not only is this the right thing to do, it makes good economic sense and we must join our voices with other municipalities across Ontario in taking positive action to put the interest of seniors first.”
Councillor Anthony Perruzza, Ward 8, York West: “Whether you’re a family caregiver, homecare client, personal support worker or senior concerned about the sustainability of our public healthcare system, the fight for homecare affects us all. If care is going to be available to our loved ones when they need it most, then the time to fulfill the promise of homecare is now.”
Councillor Mike Layton, Ward 19 Trinity Spadina: "Our seniors are our parents and grandparents. They have helped to shape our communities and our lives. Each of us, and all levels of government, share in the responsibility of ensuring our seniors can continue to live healthy and independent lives. We are falling behind. Seniors have been left on waiting lists for homecare and our dedicated front- line support workers are working 7 days a week and up to 12 hours a day. Most home-care workers are living close to the poverty line, while they do some of the most important work in our communities. We desperately need all levels of government to invest in homecare to help maintain the dignity of our seniors and those who work to support them."