As Sinai Health’s Director of Geriatrics, Dr. Samir Sinha is familiar with the frustrations many patients and their caregivers feel in accessing appropriate long-term care, whether in the form of nursing home care or home and community care. Earlier this week, Dr. Sinha, who also serves as Director of Health Policy Research at Ryerson University’s National Institute on Ageing, put these frustrations into wider context at a C.D. Howe Institute-organized event: Aging, Long-Term Care and Income Security. Alongside fellow panelists Dr. Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, Director of Financial Security Research at the National Institute on Ageing, and Hon. Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Ontario Minister of Long-Term Care, Dr. Sinha discussed the state of long-term care in Canada today, and what it may look like in the coming decades as Canada’s population rapidly ages. The event also highlighted Dr. MacDonald’s recently published report, The Future Co$t of Long-Term Care in Canada. In his remarks, Dr. Sinha highlighted that 1 in 5 older Canadians are prematurely admitted to a nursing home, despite available home and community care that could have supported them at home. And yet, there is more that could be done to better support older Canadians at home. Only 13% of Canada’s long-term care budget is spent on home and community care, whereas other countries, such as Denmark, spend two-thirds of their long-term care dollars on continuing care, rather than nursing home care. These challenges were discussed at length in Dr. Sinha’s own report, Enabling the Future Provision of Long-Term Care in Canada. In a forthcoming third report, Dr. Sinha will highlight how the long-term care needs of Canadians can be met in the decades to come with the goal of helping Ontario’s and other Ministers responsible for Health and Long-Term care make the right policy decisions to enable the best long-term care solutions to meet the needs of an ageing population.
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