Act on dementia: Open Letter to Health Ministers, Paradigm Shift needed: CARP Policy Paper released

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, September 29, 2014
Toronto, ON: As the federal and provincial Health Ministers meet in Banff this week, CARP released an open letter calling on Ministers of Health to take action on dementia to help Canadians live a good quality of life with dementia. CARP also released its policy position paper that calls for a paradigm shift in how we care for dementia so that Canadians receive the appropriate care when and where they need it. [open letter included below]

Many Canadians are struggling to deal with the day to day challenges of caring for their loved ones with dementia. The health care system is not well structured to provide patient-centered care and there are insufficient healthcare workers with the specialized knowledge to care for dementia. Therefore, CARPs paper calls for a paradigm shift to meet the specific needs and care demands of a growing population of dementia suffers.

CARP calls on the Health Ministers in the letter below to take action on:

1) Greater caregiver training, support, and respite care  – financial supports targeted for those providing heavy care, job-protected leave for caregiving, and formal resources and supports from the health care system

2) Mandatory dementia care training for healthcare providers and personal support workers training in early diagnostic tools, advanced care planning, and person-centered care

3) More specialized home care and long-term care More funding for home care and long-term care; redesigning protocols and procedures in care facilities to better respond to dementia needs, such as limiting the use of antipsychotics and ensuring proper staffing levels.

CARP members will be watching to see if Canadas Health Ministers will work together to take real action on an issue that is on the minds of Canadians across the country. While research for treatments and cures is needed, tangible solutions are needed now to help patients and their families manage with the challenges of dementia. – Susan Eng, VP Advocacy, CARP

CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for a New Vision of Aging for Canada, social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. CARP seeks to ensure that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and provides value-added benefits, products and services to our members. Through our network of chapters across Canada, CARP is dedicated to building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARPs mission.

For further information, please contact:

Sarah Park   416.607.2471
Director, Communications
[email protected]

Michael Nicin   416.607.2479
Director of Policy
[email protected]

Anna Sotnykova  416.607.2475
Media & Communications Coordinator,
[email protected]

 

September 29, 2014

Re:  FTP Health Ministers Meeting

Dear Ministers of Health,

CARP is calling on you to take action on dementia to help Canadians live a good quality of life with dementia.

Over 750,000 Canadians across the country are struggling to cope with dementia. They are struggling to get the specialized care they need and millions more are without adequate supports and resources to care for loved ones with dementia. Half a million Canadians had unmet home care needs in 2012, and 1-in-10 Canadians say they are the primary caregivers for someone with dementia.  While research for a cure and treatments is important, families need help now to deal with their day to day challenges.

CARPs enclosed Dementia Paper calls for a paradigm shift in how we care for dementia. The current health care system is not well structured to provide patient-centered care, most critical when dealing with dementia, and there are insufficient healthcare workers with the necessary specialized knowledge to care for patients with dementia.

The front line workers are struggling to meet the demands of caring for a growing population of dementia sufferers. Patients and families are concerned that they will not get the care they need and worse, potentially be subject to the use of chemical and physical restraints. In media reports of over-use of overuse of anti-psychotics on patients in nursing homes, most of the patients affected had dementia.

A paradigm shift in how the healthcare system delivers dementia care will ensure that Canadians receive the appropriate care when and where they need it. CARP members are looking to the Health Ministers to act on:

1) Greater caregiver training, support, and respite care  – financial supports targeted for those providing heavy care, job-protected leave for caregiving, and formal resources and supports from the health care system

2) Mandatory dementia care training for healthcare providers and personal support workers training in early diagnostic tools, advanced care planning, and person-centered care

3) More specialized home care and long-term care More funding for home care and long-term care; redesigning protocols and procedures in care facilities to better respond to dementia needs, such as limiting the use of antipsychotics and ensuring proper staffing levels.

CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization with a membership of over 300,000 from across Canada committed to a New Vision of Aging for Canada promoting social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination.

Sincerely,

Susan Eng

VP, Advocacy, CARP