Canadian Healthcare Association

Canadian Healthcare Association

September 22, 2009 08:41 ET

The Opportunity to Transform Long Term Care is Now, Says CHA

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 22, 2009) - The Canadian Healthcare Association (CHA), is pleased to announce the launch of its ground-breaking brief, New Directions for Facility-Based Long Term Care.

New Directions for Facility-Based Long Term Care explores the opportunities now before us to transform facility-based long term care. CHA's research found:

- Canada's health system must prepare for the future. Seniors will live longer, are predicted to experience a compressed period of morbidity at the end of life, and will have definite ideas on the types of services they require and the methods of delivery.

- Long term care is not always the preferred option. Younger adult residents of long term care facilities, part of a small-volume but high needs population, can be supported through the development of more alternate living arrangements within continuing care. Further, although most elderly Canadians prefer to live at home, eventually, many will require care in a long term care home.

- Differences in long term care exist across the provinces and territories and within them. The delivery of appropriate facility-based long term care services will continue to be a challenge until policy makers realize its importance to the changing heath system and focus on making services more equitable across the country.

- Resource allocation and accountability are inseparable. If facility-based long term care is to meet future expectations, we must fund it properly and hold homes accountable for excellence.

- More research is needed in long term care. Canada lags behind other countries in per capita expenditures for research on aging. Many Canadians, health professionals included, are poorly informed about facility-based long term care. The establishment of teaching long term care homes should be given immediate priority for several reasons: to promote cultural transformation, to integrate leading practices for the benefit of residents, to better support current professionals, and to prepare the future workforce in this field.

The federal government must fulfill its stewardship role in helping to ensure, along with the provinces and territories, that the facility-based long term care system has the capacity to meet the needs of our aging population.

"We must plan now to respond to the emerging health needs of Canadians by ensuring enlightened leadership, progressive management practices and an engaged workforce are all in play. And we must take advantage of the opportunities provided by new technologies, innovative therapies, and contemporary ways of delivering health services," said Pamela Fralick, President and CEO, Canadian Healthcare Association. "The opportunity to transform long term care is upon us. All we have to do is act."

New Directions for Facility-Based Long Term Care can be downloaded at no charge from the Canadian Healthcare Association's website, www.cha.ca.

The Canadian Healthcare Association has been an active champion of Canada's health system for almost 80 years. We are the only federation of provincial and territorial health associations and organizations in the country which represents the breadth of the health system. Learn more about our solutions to health system challenges at www.cha.ca.

Contact Information

  • To schedule an interview with a CHA representative:
    Canadian Healthcare Association
    Teresa Neuman, Communications Specialist
    613-241-8005 X205 or (Cell.) 613-282-6003
    tneuman@cha.ca
    www.cha.ca