A National Seniors Strategy- Of Course!!

Originally published at allaboutestates.ca on August 21, 2013:

The Canadian Medical Association sponsored Ipsos Reid to conduct a poll among Canadians asking about our health care system. Their headlines were “Nine in 10 Canadians say all Governments Should Cooperate to Develop a National Strategy for Seniors Health Care”.

Of course a national senior’s strategy is needed. Canadians have been saying this for some time. Of course all levels of government need to be involved. We are living longer- this also means that our health care needs have been prolonged. The recent study from the Heart and Stroke Foundation which I referenced in my blog August 2, 2013 blog indicates that the last 10 years of life are often fraught with poor health. My guess is that this window would open even wider, as we live longer.

Finding from the Ipsos Reid Survey include: “ When thinking about their retirement years, Canadians have many concerns on the health care front. More than four in five (83%) are ‘concerned’ (50% very/33% somewhat) about their ability to maintain their health in retirement. Other concerns of Canadians when reflecting on retirement include:
• Having access to a high quality acute care health system – 79% concerned.
• Having access to high quality home care and long-term care – 77% concerned.
• Their financial situation – 71% concerned.
The findings suggest many Canadians would like a comprehensive system because they believe they’re likely to need the system’s support should they require extensive care in retirement. Three in five (60%) say that they would need to rely on a public system if they ever needed home or long-term care, while a minority of just over one in three (34%) say they have plans in place to ensure that they can afford home or long-term care if needed.”

Much caregiving responsibility falls onto the shoulders of family and friends- especially when the cost of hiring 24 hour care can be over $500.00 per day. The system needs to be overhauled and I would also like to reserve a seat for the private sector to be at the table in this discussion.
-Audrey Miller

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