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.