CALTC Chair presents to Senate Committee studying palliative care

Today, the Canadian Association for Long Term Care had the opportunity to present to the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology on their study of Bill C-277, An Act providing for the development of a framework on palliative care in Canada.

Seniors today are the fastest growing demographic, and in the next few years we know that seniors will out-grow our youngest for the first time in our countries history. The senior’s population grew from 8% of the total population in the 1970s and is now on track to make up 25% of it.

Coupled with this challenge we face with the sheer number of seniors that will need assistance, residents in long-term care homes are living longer, entering our residences at a later stage of life with more complex health issues and more physically frail. The number of residences with dementia continues to grow, as well as seniors with other health challenges.

“We know about 20% of all deaths that take place actually take place within a long-term care home,” said Candace Charter, Chair of the Canadian Association for Long Term Care. “But standards for palliative care, amount of care and quality of care vary across the country. Each long-term care home does the best within the human and physical resources that they have access to, but there are limitations to providing care in comfort for both the resident and their family.”

The Canadian Association of Long Term Care appreciates this study being undertaken by the Senate and support this particular legislation, Bill C-277, An Act providing for the development of a framework on palliative care in Canada. More attention needs to be paid to palliative care structures that are truly person centred across the country. This includes developing the infrastructure to access care, calling for standardized care practices and the supports to make that a reality as well as providing appropriate training and supports for staff as well.

A PDF copy of Candace’s full speech is available here.

About CALTC

The Canadian Association for Long Term Care (CALTC) is a national organization comprised of provincial associations and long-term care providers that deliver publicly-funded health care services for seniors across Canada.

CALTC members represent care providers responsible for the employment of Canadians and delivering quality care to Canada’s most vulnerable residents each day. For more information: www.caltc.ca

For further information: Jessica Stepic, 416-433-8087