Keeping seniors cool – Long-term care homes in Ontario get much-needed air-conditioning

A majority of homes are fully air-conditioned; some have designated cooling areas

The Ontario government says it has delivered on a promise to ensure residents in long-term care homes will be able to keep cool during the hot summer months.

Changes made to the Long-Term Care Homes Act on April 1 required that all homes provide a designated cooling area to be maintained at a comfortable level during specific periods.

The government says all 626 long-term care homes in the province were in compliance as of May 15, compared with just 15 per cent a year ago.

“Our government and Ontario’s 626 long-term care homes have worked quickly to ensure vulnerable residents, staff and families will be cool, comfortable and safe this summer,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “Every single home is now providing air conditioning in designated cooling areas and at least 83 per cent of homes will have full air- conditioning by this summer.”

Currently, 60 per cent of homes are fully air-conditioned, including in all resident rooms, compared to 42 per cent last summer. An additional 23 per cent of homes are working toward being fully air-conditioned as soon as possible.

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