Ensuring Seniors Across Canada Have a Safe and Comfortable Home for the Holidays

A holiday message from the Canadian Association for Long Term Care

As 2023 comes to a close, the Canadian Association for Long Term Care (CALTC) is expressing our gratitude to Canada’s entire long term care community, including residents, their families, staff and volunteers, and CALTC members, for their unwavering commitment to caring for their fellow Canadians and providing quality long-term care for all. We are also reaffirming our organization’s commitment to acting as Canada’s national voice for long-term care, and driving change to support Canadians so they can live and age with dignity.

In recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has critically impacted Canada’s long-term care sector, illuminating both the challenges in meeting the growing demand for long-term care across Canada, and the need for greater investment in the long-term care sector. For CALTC, these impacts have led to a greater opportunity for CALTC’s leadership to give voice to the critical needs of our sector.

Canada’s health care system is in a period of transition – and we believe that CALTC’s perspective is needed now more than ever. As we step in 2024, CALTC is focused on advancing dialogue about the needs of our sector at the federal level and providing recommendations for how the federal government can support a high-quality, accessible long-term care system for Canadians across the country.

Since our last holiday message, CALTC members have met with key decision makers from across the health sector, including Mark Holland, Minister of Health, and Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Labour and Seniors, to discuss the key issues facing our sector. Following a successful Lobby Day in October that saw CALTC members participating in 17 meetings with Members of Parliament, Senators, and key civil servants, several meaningful partnerships have been born. We look forward to seeing how these partnerships will enable CALTC to develop evidence-informed policy solutions in 2024 that address the key challenges facing our sector.

Getting seniors into safe and comfortable housing has always been a top advocacy priority for CALTC, and looking forward to the new year, housing will be a key priority for our association. Making sure seniors have a cozy, caring home as they age is decent and right. However, funding new projects is a challenge. The federal government has recently committed to making seniors care and housing a priority, and CALTC has shared three ways governments can start to address this problem and build the long-term care homes our seniors need here.

The health human resources (HHR) crisis will be another focus for CALTC in the new year. In 2023 CALTC shared our suggestions for addressing the HHR challenges facing our sector; including recruiting and retaining staff and addressing the other unique challenges that come along with staffing long term care homes. These can be found here.

We believe that housing and HHR are areas where policy changes and investments will make the largest impact on the quality of life for seniors living in long-term care. To advance our priorities, we will continue to advocate for a strong partnership between the federal government, provincial governments, and sector stakeholders. We look forward to continuing our work to advance Canada’s long-term care sector and accomplish our vision of building a sustainable sector that provides quality long-term care for all in 2024.

On behalf of the Canadian Association for Long Term Care, we are wishing you and your loved ones a happy, safe, and restful holiday season.

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