Health Summit 2014: Aging, Chronic Disease, and Wellness
Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre •
Aging and chronic care needs will be defining issues in the evolution of health care.
Previous Health Summits have assessed the sustainability of our health care system. The 12 inconvenient truths and five key priorities for change identified previously have helped to identify the issues, and the actions required to fix health care.
The 2014 Summit, our 3rd in Toronto, will focus on two interrelated issues that represent the most complex challenges to system sustainability and that will affect the health of all Canadians, now and in the future:
- The system is misaligned with an aging population
- The current delivery model is ill-equipped to address chronic care and prevention
How can we apply the five priorities for change to aging and chronic care issues?
The experts will examine the issues of elder and chronic care under the five priorities for change identified in 2012
- Fix the gateway to the health care system. Primary care is the first contact point with the health care system. The consensus was that interdisciplinary family care teams should be the standard model for primary care, and should be expanded and strengthened in all provinces and territories.
- Invest in and use technology more intensively in the health care system, particularly information technology. More intensive and standardized use of information technology would allow patient information to be collected and shared seamlessly, making treatment much more efficient and boosting health care system productivity.
- Change health professional compensation. The compensation model for physicians and other health professionals should be linked to patient outcomes, not activities like treatment or consultation, within a clear accountability structure.
- Build an appropriate support system to care for the elderly. Few older Canadians want to be hospitalized for chronic conditions. They want to be cared for and healed in their homes and the communities where they live.
- Improve the state of Canadians’ overall health and wellness. A healthier population would slow the growth in chronic diseases and health care demand, so Canada needs a “wellness system” as well as a health care system. Employers have an important role in supporting the wellness of employees and their families.
The compelling case for change.
The Conference Board’s recent briefing, the first in a series, Future Care for Canadian Seniors—Why It Matters, identified a pressing need for change. It found that the burden of home care currently rests largely with individuals. In 2007 close to 1.3 million Canadians provided over 1.5 billion hours of home support and community care, more than 10 times the number of paid hours provided by formal home care services. In the same year, absenteeism and turnover related to unpaid care was estimated to cost Canadian businesses over $1.28 billion.
The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) report, Seniors and the Health Care System: What Is the Impact of Multiple Chronic Conditions?, provides a snapshot of the health of older Canadians living outside of institutions and being treated in primary health care settings. 74 per cent of seniors 65 and older and 48 per cent of adults 45 to 64 reported having one or more of 11 chronic conditions, and 24 per cent of seniors reported having three or more chronic conditions.
The top conditions included:
high blood pressure—47 per cent of seniors and 23 per cent of older adults
arthritis—27 per cent of seniors and 17 per cent of older adults
heart disease—19 per cent of seniors and 4 per cent of older adults
diabetes—17 per cent of seniors and 8 per cent of older adults
Furthermore, researchers with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Aging report that Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias affect about 8 per cent of seniors 65 and over, increasing to a third or more for those 85 and over.
Priorities for ACTION.
The first step must be to define the problem and make credible, evidence-based projections about future need. This is the purpose of the Conference Board’s ongoing series on Future Care for Seniors. Building on this knowledge, the Summit will examine issues such as:
- shifting to chronic disease management
- mental health for seniors
- rethinking compensation and system incentives
- encouraging active living at every age
- the workplace and supporting wellness—employers need to step up
- focusing on prevention
- improving screening for chronic diseases
- changes needed in primary care to address an aging population
- dying with dignity—the assisted suicide debate
- accommodating caregivers in the workplace
- the looming crisis in care for dementia patients
- robotics’ potential role in senior and home care
- tackling loneliness—the silent killer
- patient-centred care
Benefit from the insights of the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care.
Once again, the Summit will feature the latest research from CASHC and other relevant research areas at the Conference Board. These include the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, the Council on Healthy Aging, the Centre of Advancement of Health Innovations, and the Council of Workplace Health and Wellness.
CASHC has already produced the primer, The Who, What, Where of Care for Canadian Seniors, and this Summit will offer a preview of the results of upcoming studies, such as Base Case Forecast of Demand and Supply of Care for Canada’s Aging Population and a detailed EKOS survey on Canadian's views, needs, spending, and expectations for seniors care. Leading researchers will also draw on a series of projects related to private and public partnerships in health care.
Learn from a broad range of experts and the latest research.
Canada’s health system leaders will gather at this Summit to discuss the latest research, hear from top Canadian and international experts, and explore practical solutions to complex challenges in seniors and chronic care.
The Conference Board consistently convenes a broad range of stakeholders, including medical and health professionals, administrators, professional associations, health services providers, pharmaceutical companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, suppliers, and patient groups for these events.
This diversity helps develop innovative solutions, and creates the energy and insightful dialogue that sets our Summits apart.
The details of this event are subject to change. Please revisit this page periodically for updated information.