New and renovated long-term care homes in Ontario will now be required to include air conditioning, beginning immediately. Over the next five years, the government is investing $1.75 billion in long-term care homes.
“Our new funding model will not only encourage new beds to be built faster, but also upgrade existing older homes to meet high quality design standards, with features like air conditioning and private or semi-private rooms. Our seniors deserve nothing less,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
The Long-Term Care Homes Act was published in 2007. In part two of the regulation (called Safe and Secure Homes), it details certain requirements that long-term care homes must follow. This includes things like shower grab bars, bed rails, privacy concerns, and response systems.
For the HVAC industry, the home must be served by a generator that is available at all times and has the capacity to maintain during a power outage the heating system and other essential services.
Cooling requirements state that “a written hot weather-related illness prevention and management plan that meets the residents must be developed and implemented when required to address the adverse effected on residents related to heat.” This includes a mandate stating that the home must be maintained at a minimum temperature of 22 C.
Currently, more than 38,000 people are on the waitlist to access a long-term care space, and new long-term care home construction has not kept pace.
“This newly designed model is a signature element of our government’s plan to address capacity in long-term care,” said Minister Fullerton. “This bold new plan will allow us to modernize a system that had been neglected for years, reduce the waiting list and ensure seniors live in a setting that is modern, clean and comfortable. In addition, this new investment will create jobs and contribute to our economic recovery,” said Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care and MPP for the Kanata–Carleton riding.