Canada needs a strategy to ensure our seniors receive quality care.
Canada needs the federal government, in conjunction with the provinces and territories, to implement a federally funded, targeted transfer fund for a pan-Canadian continuing care program in legislation that encompasses the entire spectrum of hospital, home care, and long-term care.
Canada’s seniors represent our fastest growing demographic. Seniors are more likely to be reliant on a robust, public health care system. To decrease the risk of adverse events, and address their complex conditions requiring numerous therapies and medications, seniors need help transitioning between their various providers and care settings.
Increasingly, seniors face challenges in accessing services – high-quality, appropriate treatment within these services – continuity between services and the critical understaffing of long-term care and home care. Canada needs adequate and appropriate publicly funded short-term and long-term home care services.
Polls consistently show that Canadians want seniors’ care to be an election priority. Canadians support caregiver-support programs, and better funding for home care and long-term care.
To address seniors’ needs, Canada requires a new approach to seniors – one that incorporates a new seniors’ care standard that takes an integrated approach to seniors’ care with the objective of improving the overall quality and safety of seniors’ lives.
In July 2015, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions published a paper prepared by Pat Armstrong, PhD, Hugh Armstrong, PhD, and Jacqueline Choiniere, PhD titled, ‘Before It’s Too Late: A National Plan for Safe Seniors’ Care.’ The publication provides an in depth analysis of Canada’s need for the federal government, in conjunction with the provinces and territories, to implement a federally funded, targeted transfer fund for a pan-Canadian continuing care, encompassing the entire spectrum from hospital to home care to long-term care.
- 74% of seniors have at least one chronic condition, while 24% of seniors have three or more chronic conditions
- Seniors make up 15% of the Canadian population - that number will grow to 25% in 20 years
- 461,000 Canadians require home care for a chronic condition, but did not receive it
- There are 8 million unpaid caregivers in Canada