‘It will help out our frontline staff and greatly improve the quality of life for our seniors’
Ontario has launched the Ontario Workforce Reserve for Senior Support, a program focused on recruiting, training and deploying individuals as Resident Support Aides (RSA) to work at homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 has amplified persistent staffing challenges in the long-term care sector, highlighting the need for immediate action,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, minister of long-term Care. “I encourage those who are looking for new opportunities or those who have been displaced during the pandemic to consider working in a long-term care home. This will not only be personally satisfying work, it will help out our frontline staff and greatly improve the quality of life for our seniors.”
The RSAs will assist residents with daily living activities including assistance during meal times and nutrition breaks or with the coordination of visits and support with technology or recreational activities. The new recruits will be deployed in areas most in need such as Ottawa, Peel and Toronto.
Individuals interested in the program are encouraged to create a profile on the Ontario Matching Portal, where they will be screened, trained and matched with a long-term care home requiring support. Candidates will be asked to complete online modules focusing on Infection Prevention and Control, Personal Protective Equipment, and review an overview of long-term care and seniors care.
Ontario previously increased the hours of direct care for each long-term care resident to an average of four hours per day. The government also set aside $100 million for long-term care projects from the $1.05 billion in combined federal-provincial funding through the new COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure stream.