Ontario is seeking individuals interested in new opportunities – specifically those who are unemployed or have been displaced from the retail and hospitality industries or administrative roles as well as students in education programs – to re-enter the workforce and make a difference by helping seniors living in long-term care homes.
“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 Ontario Workforce Reserve for Senior Support is a new program focused on recruiting, training and deploying individuals as Resident Support Aides (RSA) to work at homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. These RSA’s 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. To ensure proper training, 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.
This initiative is part of the broader ongoing strategy targeted at increasing the supply and retention of front-line staff, including personal support workers, nurse practitioners, registered practical nurses and registered nurses to help the long-term care sector respond to surges and waves of COVID-19. It is also part of the province’s COVID-19 fall preparedness plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19, and linked to the Ministry of Long-Term Care’s plan, COVID-19: Long-Term Care Preparedness.
- To help improve their quality of life, Ontario is increasing the hours of direct care for long-term care residents to an average of four hours per day. This direct hands-on care is provided by nurses or personal support workers to support individual clinical and personal care needs.
- Ontario is investing $52.5 million to recruit, retain and support over 3,700 more frontline health care workers and caregivers to ensure our health care system can meet any surge in demand, while continuing to provide safe and high-quality care to patients and long-term care residents.
- Launched in April, the Ontario Matching Portal has helped make over 650 staffing matches for long-term care homes to-date.