What Do I Need to Know about Long Term Care Facilities in Canada?

During the first wave of the pandemic, 80% of all reported COVID-19 deaths were linked to Long Term Institutional Care (LTIC) facilities. COVID-19 exposed the dreadful inadequacies in our long-term care. But the truth is long-term care has been broken for decades.

The federal government is responsible for setting national principles under the Canada Health Act. In 2023, The Standards Council of Canada (SCC), Health Standards Organization (HSO), and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group) worked collaboratively to develop two new national standards for LTC.  While these are a significant step forward, they are voluntary, not mandatory.  Monitoring, reporting and accountability is still needed.

The number of persons aged 85 and older has doubled since 2001, reaching 861,000 in 2021. According to population projections, this number could triple by 2046. With our population aging, and the ‘grey wave’ coming; it’s time to take real action in ensuring real care for Canadians seniors.

How is CARP Advocating?

CARP is calling for a major “culture change.”

  • That the government establish legislation or regulations to ensure the new, appropriate National Long-Term Care Service Standard, as newly released, are integrated in all provinces and territories.
  • The government must establish a citizen oversight panel to ensure that national standards for care are achieved and maintained.
  • 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.
  • 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.’ Reflect resident’s and their family’s needs and wishes. Residents want decisions made with them not for them. Learn More.
  • 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

CARP is urging governments to recognize the need for an age at home strategy. Home care and community-based care solutions are critical to resolving the long-term care crisis. Greater emphasis must be placed on home and community care supports and resources. The vast majority of Canadians wish to age at home. Read More.

A new report on Implementing a national Home Care & Long Term Care Insurance program suggests a range of benefits that present a unique opportunity to meet the needs of its rapidly ageing populations.

The HC & LTC insurance could better support and enable individuals to Age-In-the-Right-Place or Live-In-Place as CARP prefers to call it.

It could improve:

  •  The service and financial coverage, the quality of care, and equal access HC & LTC services
  • The opportunity to reduce fragmentation, guarantee all Canadians a basic level of service and financial coverage, and create consistent and sustainable level of funding for HC & LTC.
  • Standardize HC & LTC services in the same way the Canada Health Act has done to help create a consistent approach to the delivery of hospital and physician services,
  • Improve the monitoring, evaluation, and best practices at a national level.

It is very clear that additional forms of revenue will be needed to ensure appropriate HC & LTC expenditures to better meet the needs of Canada’s ageing population over the coming years.

How Can I Get Involved?

There are many ways to get involved.  Find out more.