September 11th, 2020

Family caregivers only part of the solution in long-term care

HALIFAX -- As of today, long-term care homes in Nova Scotia can begin allowing family caregivers to help care for residents. This is after six months of strict rules on who could enter long-term care facilities.

“Residents of long-term care and their families have faced immeasurable difficulties during the first wave of the pandemic and throughout the summer,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “Today’s changes will allow some people more access to help care for their loved ones, but this must not be the province’s only response on long-term care. The Liberals must make improvements to staffing and facilities for everyone who lives in the nursing homes of Nova Scotia.”

The NDP has been calling for, at minimum, a legislated requirement for residents to receive 4.1 hours of care support per day since 2018. At this week’s Health Committee, the Deputy Minister of Health said we could have continued on with long-term care for years as is, had it not been for the pandemic.

“The comments of this government on long-term care are out of touch,” said NDP Health spokesperson Susan Leblanc. “The Liberals have been in power for seven years and for most of that time did the opposite of what was needed for long-term care. From budget cuts to ignoring the need for new beds and increased staffing, there are many, many things that need to be improved now for residents and everyone connected with long-term care in Nova Scotia.”

The NDP tabled the Care and Dignity Act in September 2018. The Liberal government has refused to call the bill for a vote.