By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday August 20, 2013
National health care strategy needed for ‘silver tsunami’
Most Canadians think this country needs a national strategy for seniors health care, believing such a plan would help keep seniors in their homes as long as possible, according to a new poll released by the Canadian Medical Association.
The Ipsos Reid poll was released along with the association’s annual report card on health issues. It found that nine out of 10 Canadians feel that the entire health care system could be improved by keeping seniors at home as long as possible, to help lighten the load on hospitals and nursing homes.
It also revealed that only 37 per cent of Canadians have confidence in the ability of the current system to care for our aging population. As well, three-quarters of respondents said they were concerned for themselves about whether they would have access to high-quality health care in their retirement years.
Almost 80 per cent said they were concerned about having access to an acute care system, such as good quality hospital care, while almost an equal number worried about finding home care and long-term care.
Jane Meadus, a lawyer with the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, says she’s not surprised the poll revealed so few Canadians feel confident about how they will be cared for in their senior years. “It shows there’s an anxiety about what’s happening now and what’s going to happen in the future about the availability and quality of the health care that we’re expecting for our seniors,” she told CTV’s Canada AM Monday.
Meadus says there are a lot of vulnerabilities in the current health care system when it comes to seniors, including a shortage of long-term care beds in most provinces and an insufficient system of home care. (Source: CTV News)