Enabling a promising future for LTC?
It doesn’t take much to figure out that Canada is becoming super-aged nation with LTC underfunding, waitlists, staffing shortages, inconsistencies in care delivery and standards.
However, as the daughter of a mother who endured a challenging decade in a less than ideal long term care facility in Eastern Ontario, I’m keeping more than my fingers crossed that the recent trio of reports undertaken by the National Institute on Ageing will finally lead to a genuine paradigm shift for those next in line so to speak.
Of course, there’s a review of the ‘same-old same-old’ challenges that relate to increased funding, navigational system support, embracing new models of care that align with standards and improving community-based supports to “keep people out of LTC”. But, for me the most valuable part of the report is the call for a ‘primarily community-based and institution by exception” thinking. This, guiding principle, which I might add is not new, if applied to new policies that guide the way we finance, organize and deliver long-term care, should finally be a game-changer.
Let it be known that the authors of the report are not naive enough to suggest the journey will be easy. Their work calls for examination of several emerging enablers and opportunities that form what they hope will be a transformational road map that includes:
• A re-enablement approach that’s co-ordinated, integrated, responsive and holistic with expanded options for supportive housing.
• Not just people’s needs but their goals of care must be met with a focus on inclusion, diversity equity and accessibility.
• Technologies that support ageing in the right place and connection should be utilized
• Evidence based decision-making with proper data collection and monitoring to enhance consistent quality and outcomes.
New staffing recruitment and retention strategies must found and be applied including wage parity and recognition of changes in supply and demand
Affordability and sustainability of LTC systems must be secured with options to reduce financial insecurity like public LTC insurance, work-place tax free pension plans and increased education.
The report calls for immediate action suggesting that there is “no time like to present to move forward.” Here, here!
Caroline Tapp-McDougall, Editor/Publisher