HealthcarePapers 20(1) September 2021 : 40-50.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2021.26641

Staffing for Quality in Canadian Long-Term Care Homes

Carole A. Estabrooks


A coherent workforce strategy and consensus on essential staffing requirements are needed to ensure quality in long-term care (LTC) homes. We have neither in Canada. No Canadian studies, investigator driven or commissioned, exist to guide us. We generally rely on 20-year-old US recommendations, although we have never actually implemented them. During, and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that an insufficient workforce was at the root of much of the failure in LTC to manage the pandemic. This commentary frames research on staffing and LTC homes and the impact of COVID-19. It then outlines key ingredients, such as knowledge of residents, the workforce and the care environment, that are needed in order to estimate staffing needs. Recommendations for decision makers are provided.



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