Findings from HSO’s Inaugural National Survey on Long-Term Care

About Health Standards Organization (HSO)
HSO stands for Health Standards Organization. Formed in February 2017, our goal is to unleash the power and potential of people around the world who share our passion for achieving quality health services for all. We are a registered non-profit headquartered in Ottawa, Canada

[Excerpt]
What They Told Us
The following discussion presents what the 16,093 individuals who responded to our survey told
us about their views on what an optimal future state of LTC ought to look like in Canada.

The Key Issues
When asked about what the most important, or key, issue to address within LTC, the responses
from survey respondents are summarized within the following 5 key categories:

Ensuring the Provision of High-Quality Care
An overwhelming majority of survey respondents took this opportunity to reiterate that ensuring the
provision of high-quality care was the most important issue to address within LTC. In particular, survey respondents want to see resident-centred care provided by a caring, compassionate, and competent interprofessional care team that values the involvement of family members within an environment that upholds the qualities of a home.

Ensuring the Safety of LTC Residents and Staff, While Respecting the Rights of Residents
While many survey respondents felt that the most important issue to address in the provision of
LTC was ensuring the safety of residents, this call for safety was also accompanied by some survey respondents advocating for the need to respect and uphold residents’ rights to independence, autonomy, and self-determination. Alongside calls for ensuring residents’ safety, survey respondents also stressed the importance of ensuring the health and safety of staff, as well as considerations for safe and accessible building infrastructure.

Ensuring a Well-Supported, Strong and Capable LTC Workforce
Stemming out of concerns for ensuring the health, well-being and safety of LTC staff, many survey
respondents felt that ensuring the LTC workforce is competent, consistent, and capable is the most important issue to address within LTC. To ensure this, survey respondents advocated for full-time, permanent employment opportunities that are equitably compensated (e.g., salary, benefits, paid time off). Survey respondents also want to ensure the LTC workforce consists of individuals with specialized training in geriatric care who have access to continuing education opportunities.

Ensuring Appropriate LTC Funding Exists to Support the Provision of High-Quality Care
In order to ensure the provision of high-quality and safe care by a competent, consistent, and capable workforce, many survey respondents felt that ensuring adequate funding was the most important issue to address within LTC. Specifically, survey respondents advocated for increases in funding that ensures the provision of high-quality care, which reflects the value and respect that older adults living in long-term care homes deserve (e.g., timely access, appropriate staffing levels).

Ensuring Greater Transparency and Accountability and Reconsidering the Provision
of For-Profit LTC Care

In alignment with calls to address the ownership of long-term care homes that have emerged
in response to the treatment of LTC home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, many survey
respondents felt that abolishing for-profit long-term care was the most important issue to address
within LTC. As well, many survey respondents called for a significant increase in transparency
and accountability within the long-term care sector.