Home-care system needs federal input, new study says
TheProvince.com – life
October 26, 2011. By Sam Cooper, The Province
A new study says Canadian governments must develop a comprehensive long-term, home-care system to fit within the federal-provincial health accord, which is due for renewal in 2014.
In Population Aging and the Evolving Care Needs of Older Canadians: An Overview of the Policy Challenges, Neena Chappell, professor of sociology at the Centre on Aging, argues a “long-term, home-care system is both necessary and cost-effective.”
“It is the most appropriate option for an aging society,” Chappell says in the study for the Institute for Research on Public Policy.
“The current health-care system provides services to dependent elderly Canadians only when family care is unavailable or insufficient,” Chappell says. “But in the coming years, more seniors will struggle to find the care they need. Lower fertility rates, increasing rates of divorce, remarriage and blended families may also affect the availability of informal care.”
According to Chappell, the envisioned long-term, home-care system must be integrated with other services, including health and social support, residential care and community services.
Integration is crucial, Chappell says, so that individuals who need care don’t fall through the cracks and can move between services.
The study is the first in a series of IRPP studies that will focus on seniors’ care issues, which experts say are becoming especiallypertinent.
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