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Nurses' poll challenges governments to take action on seniors' care

OTTAWA, July 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Poll results released by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) challenge federal and provincial/territorial leadership to tackle the issue of seniors' care. Before It's Too Late: A National Plan for Safe Seniors' Care, CFNU's safe seniors' care strategy, addresses Canadians' concerns. The poll by Abacus Data, commissioned by the CFNU in May, shows that more than three quarters of Canadians would consider supporting a party that would set national standards for continuing care. The report's authors, seniors' care experts with the Re imagining Long-Term Residential Care project at York University, Dr. Pat Armstrong, Dr. Hugh Armstrong and Dr. Jacqueline Choiniere, recommend federal continuing care legislation and a national seniors' care standard to address seniors' need for integrated continuing care from hospital to home to long-term care. "Care continuity is critical," says the Project's Principal Investigator, Dr. Pat Armstrong. "Especially for frail seniors and those with dementia."

CFNU's poll also found that close to three quarters of Canadians who have, or will likely soon have, loved ones in the continuing care system, worry about both the cost and quality of continuing care. In response, CFNU's report, Before It's Too Late, calls on premiers to implement the federal plan through specific recommendations regarding staffing levels, staff composition, training and care continuity. The report highlights the cost and quality disparities between for profit, not for profit and public long-term care facilities. It calls for staffing standards that include a minimum of one RN per shift (worked hours) and 4.5 hours of direct care per resident day (worked hours) to improve residents' quality of life.

"Seniors' health care needs are increasing, but resources are not," says Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions. "As frontline nurses, we are very concerned that seniors are not getting the care they deserve, whether in the hospital, home, or long-term care facilities. It's time for federal and provincial governments to take action before it's too late."

Abacus Data conducted the poll with 1,500 participants from May 4-6, 2015. The margin of error was + or – 2.6%.

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions represents close to 200,000 nurses and student nurses. Our members work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, community health care and our homes. For further information contact Anil Naidoo at 613-986-5409 or anil@nursesunions.ca.

CONTACT: Anil Naidoo, 613-986-5409, anil@nursesunions.ca

Source:Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions