Currently Browsing: The Globe and Mail

With baby boomers aging, the cost of long-term care is set to triple

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald and Michael Wolfson, The Globe and Mail

First published on October 8, 2019

Long-term care in Canada is facing major sustainability challenges – and it’s an issue that we cannot afford to ignore. Research released in October 2019  by the National Institute on Ageing at Ryerson University shows that if Canada continues on its current track, the cost of publicly funded long-term care for seniors – including nursing homes and home care – is expected to more than triple in 30 years, rising from $22-billion to $71-billion, in today’s dollars. Keep in mind that governments fund these costs from general tax revenues. Unlike the Canada/Quebec Pension Plan, there is no special fund or program to cover the costs of long-term care in Canada. And it is not covered under the Canada Health Act in the same way as physician and hospital care. 

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The people who profit from Ontario long-term care homes are not the people who have to live in them

A message from SEIU, Healthcare Union in Canada, The Globe and Mail

Well-off people don’t have to. They pay more for better conditions. But many Ontarians have no choice. They’re stuck with Chartwell, Extendicare, Revera or Sienna and the service they provide. They pay CEOs well for generating profits. But it doesn’t take a wizard to generate profits from a captive market by cutting costs relentlessly. A CEO worth the millions paid to Brent Binions, Michael Guerriere, Thomas Wellner and Lois Cormack might find better ways to make money instead of rationing diapers, seriously understaffing homes and leaving workers struggling to provide basic levels of care. Leaders know business can be better than this. Sustainable businesses make profits while improving their communities. Use your influence to get Binions, Guerriere, Wellner and Cormack to develop a better business plan. One that leaves the elderly with their dignity.

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With a looming aging crisis, who is helping the caregivers?

The Globe and Mail, Zosia Bielski

Elder care leaves families stressed, exhausted and looking for help, a challenge particularly felt by women. A patchwork of hospital programs, government supports and online communities shows a way forward. Nearly half the population has cared for an aging, ill or disabled family member or friend at some point, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada. Informal caregivers contributed $26-billion in free labour to the health-care system annually, a 2009 study found. More than half of Canadian carers nursed a loved one for more than four years and many of them faced substantial out-of-pocket expenses while struggling in their careers: 43 per cent missed work, 15 per cent cut down their hours and 10 per cent passed up a promotion or new job, according to Statistics Canada. Women particularly face this challenge, since more of the daily tasks of giving care still fall to them

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Nursing college didn’t investigate Wettlaufer firing because she admitted errors

Kelly Grant, Globe and Mail

The former nurse, already sentenced to life in prison for the murders of elderly patients, was found guilty of professional misconduct and formally stripped of her licence. The regulatory body for Ontario nurses decided against launching a formal investigation into the firing of Elizabeth Wettlaufer, later revealed to be a serial killer, because it heard from Ms. Wettlaufer’s former boss that the nurse was upfront about making medication errors and had no “underlying” issues. But the long-term care facility in Woodstock, Ontario, that dismissed Ms. Wettlaufer in 2014 sent the College of Nurses of Ontario a summary of 10 workplace violations that suggest the home had serious concerns about her performance at the time she was fired, according to correspondence obtained by the Globe and Mail.

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We are failing our elderly patients

André Picard, The Globe and Mail

Elizabeth Wettlaufer is one of the most prolific serial killers in Canadian history. While working as a nurse, she killed at least eight nursing home residents and attempted to kill at least six others. Yet, we know surprisingly little about her methods, her motives and the institutional regulatory failings that allowed her to get away with murder for almost a decade. Most chilling of all, had Ms. Wettlaufer not confessed, we would be none the wiser. The Ontario government, to its credit, announced a public inquiry, but it has yet to specify its scope and mandate.

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