Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Canada's National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA) urges governments, care institutions and other stakeholders to work together to improve the lives of seniors in long-term care facilities. The need for improvements is discussed in a statement to be released during the Canadian Association on Gerontology's meeting in Halifax, October 20-22nd. The Council supports the recommendations put forward by the Canadian Healthcare Association (CHA) in its 2004 Policy Brief on the subject.
Despite the existence of exemplary models, Council also finds there are serious issues in long-term care and unacceptable disparities across the country: lack of public funding and affordability; lack of quality care and accountability; lack of dignity and choice for residents; lack of respect for volunteers and families. "It should not cost $20 per day to have mom in a Yukon residence and $137 per day if she is in New Brunswick. There should be no second-class facilities for Canada's seniors," claims Bubs Coleman, spokesperson for NACA.
Among Canadians aged 75 and over, only 14% lived in long-term care facilities in 2001. The group of older, more vulnerable residents, however, is growing and will likely continue to need more long-term care. The NACA therefore supports the policy framework of the CHA as a means to address current problems. Long-term care systems across Canada need to be flexible enough to meet regional realities, while delivering comparable services.
The National Advisory Council on Aging is an advisory body to the federal Minister of Health on all matters related to the aging of the Canadian population and the quality of life of seniors. It was created May 1, 1980.
See the document at: www.naca-ccnta.ca/expression/18-4/exp18-4_toc_e.htm