95% of Ontario Seniors Support Call to Immediately Increase Home Care Funding: Poll

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Almost all believe that attracting more home care staff should be a top priority for government

(HAMILTON, ON) – March 15, 2024 – A new public opinion survey conducted by Campaign Research Inc. finds that 89% of Ontario seniors are either very concerned (57%) or concerned (32%) about the availability of home care services in the province given the significant increase in demand caused by the rapid growth in Ontario’s seniors population over the next five years. 86% of seniors believe the government has not invested enough to prepare the home care system for the growing seniors population, and 61% of seniors believe it should be the government’s top priority to invest and build the home care workforce.

“Seniors are worried, and rightfully so,” said Sue VanderBent, CEO of Home Care Ontario. “Ontario’s seniors population is ballooning and they want to ensure that we have a home care system that can help care for them. Investing today means home care will be there for our seniors tomorrow.”

Recently released research by Dr. Arthur Sweetman and Dr. Boris Kralj at McMaster University’s Centre for Health Economics & Policy Analysis in Hamilton showed that Ontario’s senior population is exploding over the next five years, with dire consequences for patient care without massive investments to build the home care workforce.
The polling released today also showed overwhelming demand for the government to provide financial relief for family-funded home care, with 9 out of 10 seniors, or 90% saying the government should offer tax relief to Ontarians who fund additional home care for their loved ones.

The polling, which interviewed 1,000 Ontarians over the age of 55, revealed a deep-seated desire by Ontario seniors to age at home. Of those who have thought about where they would live in their later years, 92% of respondents over 65 plan to stay in their own home or apartment as long as possible.

Other Key findings

  • 71% of seniors believe professional caregivers should be paid at the same rate regardless of whether they work in home care, long-term care or in hospitals.
  • 76% of seniors believe the government should help educate people about what to look for when accessing additional home care services.
  • 95% of seniors believe the government should be very concerned (56%) or concerned (39%) that the home care sector says the system needs $411M a year for the next three years to prepare for the growing number of seniors who will require care at home.
  • 61% of seniors believe it should be the government’s top priority to invest to attract more people to become home care PSWs.

“We are ringing the alarm about the need to keep investing to grow the home care system and these findings clearly show that Ontario seniors agree,” concluded VanderBent. “The only way to do that is through continued investment to massively expand the home care system to make sure the care is available where our seniors want it – at home.”

The polling, which was conducted by Campaign Research Inc. on behalf of Home Care Ontario between February 9th to February 11th 2024, among a sample of 1,000 respondents who are residents of Ontario and are members of Maru Blue’s online panel. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of a similar size would have a margin of error of plus or minus 3%, 19 times out of 20.

About Home Care Ontario:
Home Care Ontario is a member-based organization representing the full spectrum of home care providers in the province, including publicly-funded, not-for-profit and family-funded organizations. Our members are united by a singular mission to provide outstanding nursing care, home support services, personal care, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, infusion pharmacy, social work, dietetics, speech language therapy and medical equipment and supplies to people in the comfort of their homes.

Original Data:
To view the full research study, please visit: https://www.morehomecare.ca/research

For interviews, please contact:
Nancy Cupido