Future Care for Canadian Seniors: A Primer on Nursing Supply and Demand
Given the increase in Canadian seniors who will need continuing care supports over the next 30 years, growth in demand for nursing will far outstrip general labour force growth and therefore require changes to the health system and nursing practices.
- Under a status quo scenario, the overall demand for nurses to provide continuing care to seniors in home, community, and facility living settings is projected to increase from just under 64,000 full-year jobs to 142,000 full-year jobs by 2035—an annual growth rate of 3.4 per cent.
- The expansion of home and community care services and the implementation of dementia and palliative care strategies will all require sufficient numbers, skills, and expertise of nurses working in continuing care settings.
- Regardless if care is delivered in facility living establishments or in the home and community, meeting this demand requires changes to the health system and nursing practices.
- Better nursing workforce data and research for continuing care are required to meet the desired health system reforms targeted at enhancing care in community and home settings.
- Multi-professional planning focused on the health and social service needs of an aging population is urgently required.