Long-term care advocates and unions are raising concerns about Ontario’s plan to introduce a new job category to help with staffing shortages in long-term care homes, saying the new workers won’t have the skills or training to deal with the complex needs of residents.
Premier Doug Ford’s government launched a recruitment blitz earlier this week to attract people who have lost their jobs during the pandemic to work in long-term care homes.
The Advocacy Centre for the Elderly and Canadian Union of Public Employees say the new “resident support aides” will put both the workers and the vulnerable seniors they serve at risk.
Jane Meadus, a lawyer with the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, said while homes are facing a staffing crisis, this is not the right solution.
“To bring in untrained workers without any knowledge of health care, without any knowledge of infection control, and sort of just releasing them into homes, I think it’s going to be quite disastrous,” she said.
The Ministry of Long-Term Care said it is targeting retail and hospitality workers who may have lost their jobs during the pandemic and students to fill the new job class.
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