Canada is Aging: LTC and home care culture change needed

Canada’s newly released census data from 2021 indicates that those aged 85 and older are among the fastest growing age groups in the country.

The number of people over 85 more than doubled since the 2001 census, and is expected to triple in the next 25 years.

The pandemic made it clear that Canada has a long-term care crisis.  This data simply underscores the urgency of the work ahead.

“History demonstrates that major disasters can help inspire and drive change,” urges Bill VanGorder, CARP Chief Policy Officer. “It’s never been more urgent for the government to eradicate the systemic vulnerabilities.”

CARP is calling for a major “culture change” and demands the following from the government:

  • Create regulations that reflect resident’s and their family’s needs and wishes. Residents want decisions made with them not for them
  • LTIC must be reimagined and recreated with an innovative, emotion-based model of care with smaller, homelike environments and well trained and supported staff who are empowered to care for the residents with compassion and that all-important ‘human touch.’
  • Financial support provided by the government in support of aging with dignity should be tied to the adoption of provincial standards of care that are evidence-based, monitored, and evaluated.
  • Implementation of mandatory staffing levels in long-term care facilities to reflect the changing composition of residents and better protect the frailest of the frail population

In addition, CARP is urging governments to recognize that home care and community-based care solutions are critical to resolving the long-term care crisis.

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