Saturday, March 16, 2013

The provincial health ministers are meeting to discuss the aging population

Yes, the provinces, believe that more home care services will solve the issues with long-term care and the lack of beds for those who truly need them.
Provinces and territories will likely have to expand home care as a way to deal with the demographic deluge of aging Canadians.
Not so much hoarding, as no PSW would tidy or clean.
I did it, as a volunteer. Brought in cleaning supplies.
Unfortunately, there are a few barriers to this simple solution! As they steal staff from hospitals, and institutions, they reduce the staffing pool.
They increase case loads for those who are working. For-profits are reducing staff, and are unable to replace ill or vacationing workers.

Case Loads
Primarily, if there are nurses and PSWs who must travel between homes, taking time, gas money and energy, this will reduce the caseload any staff may have. It is inefficient.

Staff shortages
We are desperately short nurses (some would estimate 25%) and most long-term care, with their benefits, are advertising regularly for them.

We are desperately short GREAT personal support workers (PSW). There are many about, but they, too, are in short supply. The great ones are hired quickly, by those who pay more by employers who give higher benefits and pay for travel expenses. The cost of a PSW varies, but the bigger institutions pay more. PSWs are paid between 11 and $20, depending on a for-profit or non-profit setting, and union or non-union workers.

Unregulated, poorly paid, and poorly trained PSWs
They may have had to enter their names in a registry, but there is little standardised education for PSWs. I have seen horrible examples of poorly trained staff, with little or no concern for their clients. Lazy, uneducated people, with a minimal grade 12 education, slip through the cracks. They go from employer to employer, with no tracking the ones who steal, abuse clients, have sex with clients, or are truly incompetent.

These type of people should not be giving intimate care for our loved ones.

The good ones do exist, the good ones join the OPWSA union.
They work hard to raise the standards, raise the bar.
They are fighting for better training standards and regulation, for professional development and better pay.
The PSW Scope of Practice is misunderstood by many.

Read more here:

PSWs need regulation, not just registration

PSW wages in Ontario (2011)

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