Who are Ontario’s personal support workers?


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12 comments

  1. Shelley

    Yes -absolutely regulated .
    No – not paid appropriately

  2. Susan Monaghan

    Given the vulnerable population they serve, they need to be regulated.

    Compensation should reflect accountability regardless of sector.

  3. Janet Greenley

    This problem has been going on since the seventies, when the original Health Care Aide program was established. It was going to be registered. We were all assigned registry numbers to be used for that very purpose.

    As to the ratio of PSWs to residents in long term care home, the method of calculation RAIs, is poorly done, as a number of staff bodies who do not assist with personal care, or feeding are brought into this equation. It looks wonderful on paper, but in reality it is disgusting.

    Being a Health Care Aide since the seventies,in long term care homes, and home care, along with having parents needing home care, I have learnt a lot about the systems. I was very active in many courses and committees throughout my employment as a Health Care Aide.

    I loved my job. However by the time I retired ( 60 ) there was not enough time to give the proper care, respect, safety and human companionship. No time to assist in walking rather than using a wheelchair, toileting rather than using an incontent product, assistant to dress rather than dressing. Even though you are told independence is important,which I believe is absolutely true, time does not allow it.

    Enough said. Still too frustrating to think about it. Hope I am never going to be in that position.

  4. Lenora Carriere

    Here in Alberta we struggle with similar issues. This is a large unregulated workforce that delivers the majority of direct care to our patients/clients.
    Our “health care aide” employees work in all areas of care (home care, supportive living, long term care, acute care (hospitals) and group homes. They are a valued member of the health care team.
    Alberta recently opened a provincial health care aide “directory” however registration is voluntary not mandatory. Performance issues or conduct is not part of the Alberta HCA Directory. Cases where employees are not performing are handled by the employer, however this does not prevent them from crossing the street and working for another employer undetected.

  5. Keith Meloff MD FRCPC Neurologist

    PSW’s perform essential work in hospitals and long term care facilities.
    At Baycrest Centre, hundreds of PSW’s work PRIVATELY supporting residents in long term care at that institution.
    Their work is paid for by the family of the resident.If they were to withdraw from the institution, the institution would have to close! It simply could not provide the necessary care from its per-diem allotment from the MOH.
    It is also the case that many residents at Baycrest have private duty nurses.
    This also is a fact of life at Bridgepoint health. I have no doubt that these privately funded services are growing steadily over time across much of the province, putting the lie to the myth of free universal health care.
    Is it not remarkable that these private but essential services are permitted in Ontario, but privately funded hospitals/clinics
    are forbidden and illegal, and recently graduated nurses, educated and trained in Ontario, must seek work in the USA and abroad because they cannot find full-time permanent work in Ontario? I anxiously await a serious discussion of these issues. Respectfully submitted, Keith Meloff MD FRCPC ( Pediatrics and neurology) Toronto.

  6. Cameron Clark

    I have gone back to school to be a PSW after 27 years in public health. I felt disillusioned working as a public health manager in a job that seemed out of touch concerning addressing any real modern adverse health situations. I can say that the training is very competent and all-encompassing and the clinical practice experience tackles the emotional challenges in a thoughtful manner. The irony is that the discrepancy in pay is the recipricol of my two career experiences but money, status and privilege does not always reflect meaningful work.

  7. Lisa Hoffman

    As a Psw it is nice to be recognized for our hard work but yes we are underpaid and in a lot of cases not appreitated as been called just( ass wipers) that’s degrading.im doing this job going on 18 years and it’s not a easy job.people need to really understand what we do.

  8. Anne Harrison

    In many of the nursing homes that I have visited, many PSW’s perform tasks that are not personal care. They empty garbage cans, they collect dirty laundry and put away clean laundry. They change bed linens, make beds, set tables, serve food and clear tables. All these tasks fall under the house keeping heading that individuals themselves pay for, but are performed by PSW’s whose salaries are paid for by health care. The definition of personal care is a gray area in LTC and duties vary widely from home to home.

  9. Clover Bell

    I totally agree PSWS should be paid more but also believe the RPNs also should be paid more they are also doing double duty .1 monitoring psw ,residents ,there family members ,working short ttttthelping the psws with there work plus doing there own work and completing raps coding assessments charting dressings meetings dealing with diffiult family members and staff doing just as much as RN but getting paid half as much the Rpn is caught right in the middle ,you the wonerful psws doing lots of hard core work and above the Psw youthe Rpn then RN so guess who is in the middle with none of the glory yup u got it RPN stuck in the middle like a dog

  10. Jessi

    Thank you all for raising awareness to society,
    It’s also very encouraging to see Professor L.Bulmer contribute to this article!

    GBC Student

  11. D Sage

    As a PSW for over 10yrs. I feel that working 12days straight and 2 days off too much. The government states that the employer can force an employee to work 6 days a week, which gets doubled. This leads to higher employee turnover in the homecare sector, illness, depression/anxiety, childcare worries, burnout and more. The overhead for vehicle cost is much higher than in an institutional setting, insurance is higher, chance of accident or loss of life as well because of changing weather. Our company has experienced both. 5 days on 2 days off should be the norm. Overtime should be voluntary NOT mandatory. The turnover of employees would certainly be less. My father is now in LTC, and the girls there cannot believe I work 12 days straight. They say that 9 is more than they can handle.

  12. Jenny

    I would like to remind everyone that it is possible once every decade or
    so for a leftist party to change something that needs to be changed.
    Even though I oppose the Liberal party on most everything else, I believe
    this (concept in theory) to allow private individuals who
    receive homecare the power to choose their own caregivers is an
    absolute must. Hear me? AN ABSOLUTE MUST.

    My mother receives homecare at my home twice daily, and I can
    tell you for a fact that the agencies suing the government
    over this (see link below), are involved in daily fraud
    of taxpayer’s money that easily runs into the tens of MILLIONS.
    They are not accountable in any way
    financially to the LHIN offices, they over bill I would
    estimate at least 50% or more of what actual hours they actually
    provide to clients who are (like my mother) on a daily basis
    having their mandated visit time cut in half or more
    which is illegal all the while telling the government they
    are providing the full hours and billing them and getting
    paid for it without ANY verification going on.

    Personal/family self directed home care is THE ONLY WAY to stop these
    so called “not for profits” from committing fraud upon the taxpayers on a daily basis running
    overbilling scams into the tens of millions if not hundreds of millions yearly.

    Homecare/PSW agencies to sue government
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/home-care-ontario-lawsuit-kathleen-wynne-1.4544909

    I urge everyone to consider the idea that just because the Wynne
    government is being sued, does not automatically mean that
    it is a legitimate lawsuit.

    Of course these agencies are going to sue the government,
    THEY DON’T WANT THEIR OVERBILLING FRAUD AND OTHER ABUSES OF CLIENT
    AND PSWs AND TAXPAYERS BEING EXPOSED
    AND LOSING POWER TO THE FAMILIES/INDIVIDUALS who they currently
    are basically untouchable from.

    Please support a self directed home care system to take
    the power away from these untouchable home care agencies
    and put the power of choice back into the families
    to choose their own caregivers.

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