Seniors’ Care Surge will require Smart Policies

Posted on April 9, 2024 in Child & Family Delivery System

Source: — Authors: , – Media Release
April 9, 2024.   Rosalie Wyonch and Gillian Campbell

Tuesday, April 9, 2024 – Canada is facing a surging population of seniors, which is exacerbating demand for specialized seniors’ care amid constrained government financial resources, says a new report by the C.D. Howe Institute. We need smart policies now to increase supply of services while also addressing the affordability challenges faced by lower-income seniors.

In “Scenarios for Seniors’ Care: Future Challenges, Current Gaps and Strategies to Address Them,” author Rosalie Wyonch, who is also a Senior Policy Analyst at the C.D. Howe Institute, examines the availability of different housing and care options for seniors, the costs associated with providing that care in various jurisdictions, and government policies that subsidize support services in homes, retirement communities and long-term care.

“Seniors’ needs for housing and care is a complex issue that involves many government policies,” says Wyonch. “The results show that the availability and costs of different services and types of care vary significantly across the country.”

Current capacity restrictions and fiscal constraints mean that provinces will have to get creative with their support. Governments will have to consider expanding publicly and privately funded options along the continuum of care to ensure that seniors can maintain a high quality of life for as long as possible.

“What we’re seeing is that more than $1 of every $4 of provincial government healthcare spending goes to caring for people over 75 years of age,” Wyonch adds.

Among the key recommendations: (i) provinces should invest in public home and community care while also considering mechanisms to expand the private provision of these services; (ii) Ontario and other provinces should consider providing a refundable tax credit for senior renters to access retirement homes and supportive services and; (iii) current capacity and fiscal constraints mean that expanding both publicly and privately funded options will be necessary.

“What we’re seeing is a mismatch between the number of people who are going to require assisted living options as they age and the number of beds and facilities available,” Wyonch highlights. “We need to balance public costs while providing high-quality care that encourages autonomy, provides appropriate levels of support, and is accessible to all seniors.”

Read the Full Report

For more information, please contact: Rosalie Wyonch, Senior Policy Analyst, C.D. Howe Institute; and Gillian Campbell, Communications Officer, C.D. Howe Institute at

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