Why Plan A is so Important as our Aging Population Grows

My name is Jackie and I am the proud owner of Plan A Timmins.  Although my local and surrounding communities are very far north and tucked away, the staffing shortage in our jurisdiction is just as alarming.

While there are multiple agencies out here that provide senior care, Plan A is the only staffing solution focusing solely on the staffing shortage in long term care homes. We take great pride in assisting other health care organizations with their staffing needs, however our model is based on senior care and providing staffing solutions in LTC homes.

I’m big on research and part of having a successful business is knowing your client base. I recently did some research of personal interest and wanted to share my findings with you.

Firstly, I wanted to know more information on our senior population in Ontario. As we all know, the baby boomer generation will soon start to retire and our aging population will increase significantly.  

Here are some numbers for you to see the actual impact of aging:

“The number of seniors aged 65 and over is projected to almost double from 2.4 million, or 16.7 per cent of the population, in 2017 to 4.6 million, or 24.8 per cent, by 2041. The growth in the share and numbers of seniors accelerates over 2017-2031 period as baby boomers turn 65.  After 2031, the growth in the number of seniors slows significantly.” (Source: www.fin.gov.on.ca)

The OLTCA (Ontario Long Term Care Association) has a wonderful provincial aging-in-place strategy which strives to tackle the issue of the extreme population projection by increasing the number of LTC beds, increasing funding, and, changing the criteria for LTC homes to have stricter admission criteria.  This means that seniors entering LTC homes are older, frailer and most in-need of medical and personal care. These new guidelines also encourage healthy seniors to stay in their homes for longer and seek in-home assistance rather than move to a long term care home. (Source: Long-Term Care utilization report, April 2018, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care; Ontario Long Term Care Association, Internal database, 2018.)

Secondly, I wanted to share a few quick facts about LTC that I feel everyone should know:

  • There are 626 homes that are licensed and approved to operate in Ontario
  • About 40% of LTC homes are small with 96 or fewer beds
  • 77,343, long-stay beds are allocated to provide care, accommodation and services to frail seniors who require permanent placement
  • 652 convalescent care beds are allocated to provide short term care as a bridge between hospitalization and a patient’s home
  • The average time to placement in LTC homes, as of April 2018, is 158 days
  • The wait list for long-stay beds, as of April 2018, is 32, 835

Lastly, one of the most alarming facts I wanted to share relates to the PSW shortage. In Ontario, on any given day, if you type ‘PSW’ into Indeed or similar job seeking websites, you are guaranteed to see upwards of 3,000 jobs available.

So what does this all mean? With the number of aging individuals increasing, many of these individuals will need to be placed in a LTC facility where 24 hour, quality care is needed; Long Term Care homes are always seeking extra help and a backup plan to make this happen. These shortages are why Plan A exists. We hire quality PSWs, RPNs and RNs to help LTC homes when they’re running short. In doing so, the home is fully staffed, internal staff are supported, and residents receive the quality care they deserve. If you are considering a career in healthcare, now is the time because our seniors need you!

~ Jackie Noble-Chow, Owner/Operator, Plan A Timmins & Plan A Peterborough

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