It’s time for national standards for long-term and home care

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The COVID pandemic has shown we can no longer afford to ignore the long-standing issues with long-term and home care. More than 80% of COVID deaths in Canada occurred in long-term care facilities, the highest proportion – by a longshot – among the 14 developed countries that track this data.

The COVID pandemic has shown we can no longer afford to ignore the long-standing issues with long-term and home care. More than 80% of COVID deaths in Canada occurred in long-term care facilities, the highest proportion – by a longshot – among the 14 developed countries that track this data. Reports from the Canadian Armed Forces detailed the tragic conditions in our long-term care homes, conditions COVID made worse, but that sounded all too
familiar to those with experience with long-term care.
Canadians are living longer and more are dealing with chronic conditions and
diseases, especially as we age. By the end of this decade, those 65 and older will make up almost a quarter of the population. The demand on the healthcare system is only going to increase.
Our healthcare system has not kept pace with Canada’s aging population, and if we do not make changes soon, we will not be equipped to meet needs. It’s time we
include elder care in our national health
framework and start managing, funding and regulating long-term and home care in the same way as other parts of our system: with national standards tied to funding.
National standards will guarantee a standard level of quality care, the
availability of equitable and consistent services across the country, and adequate levels of funding for these types of care.
All levels of government must resolve to work together to fix long-term and home care to ensure older adults can access the care they need now and in the future.

Diane Carier
PETAWAWA