ORCA’s Letter to the Editor – Toronto Star
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Response to Toronto Star
As CEO of the Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA) we were grateful to read T. Boyle’s piece highlighting Dr. Devlin’s “job to not only help the system meet current demand but also to transform it so it is prepared for a doubling of the senior population in two decades.”
We can help.
The system in Ontario today does need vast improvement. We need to stop pushing seniors into institutional beds because they cannot get reliable support to stay in their community. Moving to LongTerm Care too soon or becoming an Alternate Levels of Care (ALC) patient because of affordability should NEVER be the default. As a society, we need to respect and honour our seniors more than that. They deserve a better solution. And we need to provide a better solution. A solution that supports choice and empowers each senior to live in the way they want, need and deserve.
That’s why ORCA has been championing – what we call a Senior Services Benefit– a monthly allowance – sent directly to the senior to help pay for housing and care needs. It’s designed to alleviate financial pressures placed on seniors and would empower them to stay in the community among friends and peers longer where they can live and thrive.
It’s an approach that maximizes limited resources – helps keep seniors out of hospital, out of long-term care – and in a place they choose to be. It ensures independence, longer.
It’s so simple. Other countries are already using this kind of self-directed care model – why aren’t we?
Laurie Johnston, CEO, ORCA