Did you know?
- The federal government has never provided dedicated funding, introduced national standards, or developed a national strategy for long-term care.
- Some provinces may cover part of the cost of a long-term care bed, while others provide none at all. Out-of-pocket fees for residents can be as high as $40,000 a year.
- Wait lists for long-term care are lengthy. The construction of new facilities isn’t keeping pace with the growing aging population. This problem will worsen since 25 per cent of Canada’s population will be over 65 by 2036.
- For-profit long-term care homes are more expensive, have lower staffing levels, deliver poorer quality of care, and don’t reinvest profits in facility improvements. This is a concern given that the number of for-profit homes is on the rise.
- Residents are entering long-term care frailer and with more complex conditions. Care needs are higher, yet homes are chronically understaffed. More staffing is needed to deliver the care that residents deserve and to prevent workplace injuries and violence.
Canada’s aging population deserves more public investment in long-term care, not more private profits.
To meet the growing needs of seniors, long-term care should be fully publicly funded and equally accessible to everyone. Public funding should not be used to subsidize the earnings of for-profit facilities, but invested in improving care, increasing staff, and creating more beds.
National standards related to the structure and delivery of care are needed so that all Canadians receive the best care possible. All Canadians should expect to receive the same level and quality of care as they age. No senior should be left behind.
By increasing public funding for long-term care, we can:
- Create more beds and decrease the time spent waiting for a bed
- Free up more hospital beds that are occupied by people who are unable to return home, but don’t require hospital services
- Increase the number of hours of resident care per day
- Enhance education and training opportunities for staff, which improves resident health and quality of life
By increasing staffing in long-term care, we can:
- Increase the amount and quality of care residents receive
- Help residents to live healthier and happier lives
- Reduce staff workload and the health and safety issues that make it difficult for facilities to recruit and retain highly qualified staff
- Reduce violence in the workplace that occurs because of under-staffing
Public solutions cost less, cover everyone, and deliver more.
There are many challenges facing Canada’s system of long-term care. But there are obvious and achievable solutions. Canadian seniors deserve better.
We need to ask the federal and provincial governments to act now.