TORONTO — The Ontario government is further expanding its support for the most vulnerable long-term care residents by investing $9 million more for the continued operation of 62 beds in three existing Behavioural Specialized Units and for the addition of up to 82 new specialized spaces in targeted regions across the province this year. This is an extension of a successful pilot project started in 2019, when 62 new specialized beds for residents with complex responsive behaviours were established in three homes in Whitby, Mississauga, and St. Catharines. There are another nine Behavioural Specialized Units in Ontario that are funded by Ontario Health.
This investment responds to an identified need for more beds for residents with complex responsive behaviours throughout the province.
“Investing in Behavioural Specialized Units is another example of our government delivering on our promise to provide innovative models of care that focus on the needs of our residents,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “This investment is part of our commitment to modernize the long-term care sector and will ensure our most vulnerable residents enjoy the level of care, comfort and safety they deserve.”
Behavioural Specialized Units (BSUs) provide specialized care to individuals with responsive behaviours that cannot be effectively supported in their current environment and for whom all other applicable services (e.g. regular long-term care beds, community supports) have been fully explored. Specialized care in a BSU is required due to the frequency, severity and/or level of risk that the responsive behaviours pose towards themselves, co-residents, visitors and/or staff members. A BSU offers specialized and increased staffing, a tailored environment, focussed behavioural assessment and enhanced care planning.
In addition to improving quality of life and enhancing safety for residents through this innovative model of care, the investment will also support the easing of hospital capacity pressures by helping patients with more complex responsive behaviours move from hospitals to long-term care homes faster.
This investment is part of the province’s commitment to create a 21st century long-term care sector that is truly resident-centred and that provides the highest quality of care for our most vulnerable people, where and when they need it.