Seniors Residential Care in Canada: Can We Afford It?

The Conference Board of Canada, September 17, 2015
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As the population ages, Canadian policy makers and individuals are asking themselves the same question: Will we be able to pay for our long-term care needs in the future?

Currently, the amount individuals pay for residential Long Term Care (LTC) varies widely between provinces, with public funds picking up the majority, or even all, of the bill. However, the pressure on both individual and government finances is set to further increase as a consequence of a large, looming funding gap for the sector. Even now, those wishing to access the system can face long waits for LTC spaces, leading to unneeded distress for seniors and their loved ones. Further, the consequences of this access crunch have a significant bearing on other parts of our already stretched health care system. So what can be done to mitigate the current issues and looming challenges?

These issues and more were covered in a recent Conference Board of Canada report: Understanding Seniors Care in Canada. Join report co-author Dr. Philip Astles as he discusses and expands on these critical issues, starting with current payment levels for LTC by both residents and governments. He will then go on to explore some of the consequences of the present system and levels of service, including wait times for access and the knock-on effect of acute beds being used to care for those waiting for a LTC space. Finally, he will highlight some of the factors that are placing ever increasing pressure on the LTC sector, as well as ideas for potential solutions going forward.

Webinar Highlights

  • Residents pay a fraction of the cost of residential care
  • In most jurisdictions the residential care sector is in deficit
  • Without significant changes, there will be a large funding gap in the future
  • Options for future financing are available, but need public discussion today
  • Most seniors would like to be in their own home for as long as possible. This desire and the challenges of residential care, create an obvious policy imperative.

About Philip

photo of Philip AstlesDr. Philip Astles, Senior Research Associate in the Conference Board’s Health Innovation, Policy and Evaluation group, has more than 15 years experience working in academic research and government policy and statistics. He provides technical expertise in survey methodology and data analysis, whilst also contributing practical knowledge of public policy development and evaluation in many different sectors. He is involved in much of the contract research in the HIPE team.

Maintenance of Certification
Attendance at this program entitles certified Canadian College of Health Leaders members (CHE / Fellow) to .5 Category II credits towards their maintenance of certification requirement.

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