Research has shown that seniors in the lowest or lower-middle income groups were twice as likely to be 'institutionalized', compared with those in the middle or highest income groups. 'More financially secure seniors' are less likely to be in long term care institutions for several reasons: higher-income seniors are generally in better health; they have the means to pay out of pocket for the home support they need and they can afford to live in a retirement facility and pay the living and care costs associated. (What options have you put in place to pay for your care? You may want to review your choices and do some solid planning on this question - click here
Paying For Our Care
Many groups in Canada are calling for a review and changes to how we address long-term care in Canada
The CMA, Canada's Medical Association President,
Dr. Jeff Turnbull, said the following when presenting during its Presentation to the House Of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, Pre-budget consultations 2010-2011, October 27, 2010
"....Third, issues related to our aging population also call for action.
As continuing care moves from hospitals into the home, the community, or long-term care facilities, the financial burden shifts from governments to individuals. We recommend that the federal government study options for pre-funding long-term care - including private insurance, tax-deferred and tax-prepaid savings approaches, and contribution based social insurance - to help Canadians prepare for their future home care and long-term care needs.
And, as much of the burden of continuing care for seniors also falls on informal, unpaid caregivers, the CMA recommends that pilot studies be undertaken to explore tax credit and/or direct compensation for informal caregivers for their work, and to expand programs for informal caregivers that provide guaranteed access to respite services in emergency situations."
Dr. Jeff Turnbull, President of the Canadian Medical Association, invites Canadians to provide public input into the future of Canada 's health care system. Nov 30, 2010 If interested, watch this short video of Dr. Turnbull
A Policy Brief on the Long-Term Care Environment, by the CNA Canadian Nurses Association, January 2008 if interested, click here
Special Senate Committee on Aging, Final Report-Canada 's Aging Population, Seizing the Opportunity , April 2009
Forward: This report is dedicated to the seniors who have not had the support they need as our society has tried to come to terms with monumental societal shifts which have inadvertently shunted them to the sidelines. It is dedicated to seniors who have held onto the hope of a better world in which to age. It is dedicated to the seniors, advocates, caregivers, health care workers, academics and other experts who have devoted their lives and energies to bringing about this better world, who have so generously shared their passion with this Committee. To read the presentation, click here
CMA's Presentation to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, Pre-budget Consultations 2010-2011..if interested, click here
Residential Long-Term Care in Canada -Our Vision for Better Services-Prepared by CUPE Research October 2009... if interested, click here
Estimated contribution made by unpaid caregivers in 2009 estimated at $25 billion dollars--April 14, 2009.....A Study by Marcus J. Hollander, Guiping Liu and Neena L. Chappell published in Healthcare Quarterly, 12(2) 2009: 42-49, titled "Who Cares and How Much? The Imputed Economic Contribution to the Canadian Healthcare System of Middle-Aged and Older Unpaid Caregivers Providing Care to The Elderly"
Unpaid Caregivers Providing Care to the Elderly" sheds important new light on these topics and was published in the journal Healthcare Quarterly . The lead authors, Dr. Marcus Hollander a health policy researcher and Neena Chappell of the University of Victoria note that the findings in this study provide new and important information for policy makers on the contribution made by unpaid caregivers. They note that a conservative estimate of this contribution, for 2009, amounts to some $25 billion dollars, if one were to directly substitute paid care for the unpaid care provided by family members and friends.
They are, however, quick to point out that while unpaid caregivers make a significant contribution to Canadian society "they do so, by and large willingly." The authors note that while the study points to the economic contribution of unpaid caregivers it would not be appropriate to simply substitute paid care for unpaid care. Family members generally prefer to provide care themselves, rather than have paid care providers come into their homes and do it for them. Thus, it is noted that in light of the contribution made by unpaid caregivers, governments
may wish to review the kinds of supports, such as respite care and additional home care services, which would allow family members to have the support they need to continue caring for their loved ones for as long as is both desirable and feasible. It is also important to stress that adequate resources need to be maintained in the formal or paid health care system to ensure a reasonable balance between the role of unpaid caregivers and paid health care providers, as the contribution of unpaid caregivers is already significant. (The findings of the study are based on the 2002 General Social Survey and our Force Survey. Both surveys were conducted by Statistics Canada . Cost data were projected to 2009 to provide up to date estimates.)
*Healthcare Quarterly is a Canadian journal that focuses on best practices, policy, innovation, and applied research, in the administration of healthcare.
Our Aging Communities -- Census areas, age 65 and over
Percentage Change of Seniors by Province from 2001 to 2006 -and this change is continuing and growing
Projected number of residents' in Canadian Facilities
Based on weighted information from seven provinces on bed ratios for citizens 75 years of age and over, this figure shows anticipated facility bed capacity using four scenarios:
Scenario 1 - maintain current bed ratio
Scenario 2 - low shift to community services, including expanded home care and supportive housing, combined with supportive/assisted living options
Scenario 3 - medium shift to community services, including expanded home care and supportive housing, combined with supportive/assisted living options; and
Scenario 4 - high shift to community services with facility care offered only to those with high needs. ( Source: Study "New Directions For Facility Based Care/Nouvelle Direction Pour Les Soines de Longue duree un Establishment" by Canadian Health Care Association)