On Feb 1-2 of this year, CanAge participated in a consultation panel, led by McMaster University’s Health Forum, on the potential of emerging technologies to transform long-term care in Canada.
The research project, entitled ‘Identifying and Harnessing the Potential of Technology in Long-term Care Settings in Canada‘, brought together stakeholders in ageing, technology, health care and aligned fields to engage in a dialogue on using technology to respond to challenges brought forth during the COVID-19 pandemic while future-proofing long-term care against future crises.
- Several factors make it hard to identify and harness the potential of technology in long-term care settings, including:
- residents of long-term care homes have complex health and social needs;
- there are many long-standing issues in the long-term care sector across Canada;
- the full potential of technology isn’t being used to address these issues and to improve the quality of life for residents, caregivers and their families; and
- there are many barriers to designing and using technologies in long-term care homes
During the stakeholder consultations, further challenges were identified:
• lack of a comprehensive innovation agenda for LTC (long-term care);
• residents, families and caregivers are rarely and inconsistently prioritized and meaningfully engaged in technology development and in efforts to strengthen LTC more generally;
• technologies are often not attuned to the individual needs of residents and local realities; and
• the LTC sector is not an innovative space and the value of technology is often questioned.
Watch Laura’s (CEO, CanAge) interview
Since the onset of the pandemic, CanAge has been heavily involved in rectifying the issues that have been devastating long-term care in Canada for years.
Most recently, Laura Tamblyn Watts (CEO) joined the Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group)’s Technical Subcommittee on Long-Term Care Homes, which is leading the development of national care standards in the areas of operations and infection prevention and control. Our recommendations on this issue can be found in our policy book, VOICES: A Roadmap to an Age-Inclusive Canada (under ‘I’ for ‘Infection Prevention and Disaster Response’).
Safeguarding residents in long-term care will continue to be a core pillar of our advocacy until no senior is left unsafe and unprotected.