CARP calls on Ministers of Health to repudiate ghettoization of older adults and demonstrate commitment to Ageing in Place

TORONTO July 7, 2008: CARP Canada’s Association for the Fifty Plus, representing 350,000 members across the country, is calling on all Ministers of Health to repudiate any suggestion that older adults in need of in-home support services must move out of their homes and cluster together for the convenience of health care and supportive services.

CARP is rejecting the suggestion by Dr. Robert Bell, president of Toronto’s University Health Network that seniors will get home care services only if they cluster together in home care enclaves. Dr. Bell is quoted in the Toronto Star as saying: “You can’t find all 40 apartments across Leaside”.

“This is a major step backwards. It would undermine the entire premise of the ageing in place concept – namely that the independence and dignity of living at home in familiar surroundings is vital to the health and well being of everyone, especially those in need of supportive services,’ said Susan Eng, Vice President, Advocacy of CARP.

The Romanow Report recommended that home care services be treated as the next essential service and thereby benefit from federal health care dollars. Some of that money is now funding Ontario’s Ageing @ Home strategy.

Only 7 % of Canadians aged 65 or older live in institutional settings, including retirement communities. Most continue to live in private homes.

This issue not only affects the current group of seniors but also their family caregivers and today’s 50–plus Canadians demand much more from the health care system for their loved ones and ultimately themselves.

“The whole point of the Romanow recommendation for better home care services was to allow people to access better and more responsive health care and supportive services outside of institutions, in their own homes”, added Eng. “It is worrying that a major player in the formal health care system has missed the point. That’s why we are calling on the Ministers of Health across the country to repudiate any movement to force people out of their homes to get health care and supportive services and start making use of the federal funds to make home care a reality in their provinces.” Rather than institutionalizing home care services, CARP recommends prompt action on all elements of the ageing in place concept, including better support for family caregivers, integration with the formal health care system and immediate rollout of needed funding and programs.

CARP Canada’s Association for the Fifty Plus is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination; ensuring that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and providing value-added benefits, products and services to members; and building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission.

For further information, please contact:

Michelle Taylor Communications Coordinator CARP

Susan Eng Vice President Advocacy CARP

Backgrounder for more information