A Chatham-Kent woman is calling on the provincial government to improve the ratio of staff members to patients within long-term care homes.


Joanna Vaughan has been circulating a petition in the area which states more employees are needed to -ldquo;provide adequate, humane and timely care to residents and improve their quality of life.-rdquo;


As a long-term care worker, she said she felt she needed to do something to improve care for seniors.


-ldquo;I see a lot of sad things and I-rsquo;ve been paying attention to the news and whatnot and our seniors need our help and I want people to stop turning their back on our seniors because it is so wrong what goes on,-rdquo; she said.


Vaughan said this has gone on for years but the Ontario government hasn-rsquo;t addressed these concerns.


According to the petition, which is being hosted by Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls-rsquo; office, there is sometimes one staff member for every 14 patients.


This causes residents of long-term care homes to go without food or baths for long periods of time, said Vaughan.


-ldquo;People that are palliative in a nursing home, they maybe get checked on once, maybe twice throughout a shift because (staff) are doing so much more with the people that can voice that they-rsquo;ve got to get up,-rdquo; she said.


Vaughan said she has received many emails about long-term care homes since word got out about her petition.


-ldquo;I have other people that are upset that it-rsquo;s just for long-term care because now our retirement homes are doing the work of (personal support workers) in long-term without the tools,-rdquo; she said.


About 1,000 petition papers are out at businesses in Chatham-Kent, said Vaughan, but she wants this to go out across Ontario.


-ldquo;Our whole province needs to come together and fight for our seniors because we will end up there one day and if we don-rsquo;t try to make a change now, there will just be more that suffer,-rdquo; she said.


-ldquo;There are not enough homes. There is not enough staff. People are running from the job because it-rsquo;s too overwhelming and it-rsquo;s too hard anymore.-rdquo;


Vaughan said anyone looking to get involved should join her Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/377246886406226.




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