Caregiving, Long-Term Care, Home Care, and Housing Resources

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Caregiving, Long-Term Care, Home Care, and Housing Resources

Caregivers include both professional paid workers, such as home care workers, as well as unpaid supporters such as family members or friends. Caregivers are integral parts of the health and social care of older Canadians and we simply do not have enough of them. With the age demographic shift, we are likely to have significantly fewer in the future (the “Dependency Ratio”). Canada needs to significantly advance policies to create new paid professional caregiving staff, while also addressing the needed workplace flexibility and government financial support for people taking care of loved ones without pay. Caregivers allow for many seniors to age at home, which is both the overwhelmingly preferred option of seniors and the least expensive form of care.

Long-term care is in crisis across Canada. It is often institutionalized and outmoded. It is chronically underfunded, understaffed, and in dire need of significant investment to meet the needs of current and future seniors. This gap in resources, funding, regulation, and public attention has been laid bare by the deaths of Canadian seniors during COVID-19. Canada’s dismal performance among OECD countries in the deaths of older adults shows how far we must go to improve our approach to long term care and how many lives can be saved if we do.

Housing in the community remains a key priority as 92% of all Canadian seniors will continue to live at home and never go into long-term care or congregate care housing.

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