New spaces being created to provide quality care for long-term care residents
December 28, 2020 Long-Term Care
TORONTO — The Ontario government is opening a new Specialized Care Centre to provide care for long-term care residents in the Greater Toronto Area who must be temporarily relocated due to the challenging situation in their long-term care home.
The new Specialized Care Centre will operate as a temporary extension of Toronto Grace Health Centre to offer surge capacity for long-term care homes across the Greater Toronto Area that are managing a COVID-19 outbreak or experiencing other challenges in the home. These could include crowding, shortage of staff, lack of supplies, or other outbreaks in the long-term care home, such as influenza.
"We are grateful to the Specialized Care Centre Steering Committee for its work to quickly establish these new surge capacity spaces for our long-term care residents," said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. "By working closely with all of our partners, we are committed to finding innovative solutions to help protect our loved ones as we continue our fight against the second wave of the virus."
When fully complete, the climate/HVAC-controlled Specialized Care Centre will provide up to 90 fully furnished spaces for residents, with access to therapy rooms. Initially, the Specialized Care Centre will open with 30 spaces. The length of stay will vary for each resident, depending upon individual needs, and the situation in the resident's long-term care home.
"Today's announcement will support further prevention and containment efforts to protect our most vulnerable," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "This Specialized Care Centre being announced today will support health system capacity to ensure that our loved ones have access to the quality care they need."
"The Salvation Army Toronto Grace Health Centre is pleased to set up the Specialized Care Centre to assist long-term care homes in Toronto and the GTA to manage the challenges of COVID-19 in partnership with the University Health Network," said Jake Tran, President and CEO, Toronto Grace Health Centre. "The Grace's physicians, nurses, PSWs, therapists and staff have much experience and expertise in the care of seniors and are at the ready, to provide care to long-term care home residents who may need to be transferred temporarily to the Specialized Care Centre. Our role in helping establish the Specialized Care Centre for long-term care residents comes from the Salvation Army's experience and deep mission of service to Ontarians in times of need."
Ontario has invested nearly $540 million announced earlier this fall to ramp up surveillance, increase infection prevention and control personnel, increase PPE supplies, and build a strong health care workforce at long-term care homes across the province.
- The Specialized Care Centre Steering Committee is comprised of partner representatives from the University Health Network, Toronto Grace Health Centre, Chester Village, Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Infrastructure Ontario, and the Ministry of Long-Term Care.
- A Better Place to Live; A Better Place to Work: Ontario’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan is part of the government’s modernization agenda to create a long-term care sector that is resident-centred and provides the highest quality of care for our loved ones, when and where they need it.
- The province’s vaccine strategy prioritizes the most vulnerable populations first, including health care workers and residents of long-term care homes, who are at higher risk of contracting the virus.
- Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover sets out a total of $45 billion in support over three years to make available the necessary health resources to continue protecting people, deliver critical programs and tax measures to support individuals, families and job creators impacted by the virus, and lay the groundwork for a robust long-term economic recovery for the province.
- In total, the government has made $15.2 billion available to support Ontario’s frontline health care heroes and protect people from COVID-19. This includes supporting 141 hospitals and health care facilities, and 626 long-term care homes since the beginning of the pandemic.