Canada’s seniors are not getting the health care they deserve — not even close. Our system was created over half a century ago to meet the needs of a much younger population and we have not adapted to meet the growing number of aging Canadians. The Canadian Medical Association and an alliance of partner organizations have decided to do something about it. Welcome to DemandAPlan.ca. This is the website of the Alliance for a National Seniors Strategy.
Add your voice to the call for a National Seniors Strategy. By doing so, you will be part of the movement that will help bring about the change we need. Visit the What's New section often to find out what your fellow Canadians are saying about the need for seniors care — and how things like long-term and home care can be better supported to the benefit of the entire health care system. We also want to hear your stories and thoughts so contribute to this site by commenting on our posts and adding seniors care related events to our events map.
Our system can’t struggle along for another 50 years. We need a national strategy for seniors — right now. Click here to join us.
About the Alliance for a National Seniors Strategy
The Alliance has accomplished the following goals:
- made seniors care a ballot issue in the election campaign
- persuaded the major political parties to include a national seniors strategy in their campaign platforms
The Alliance will be calling on the federal government to convene a meeting of the provincial and territorial premiers to discuss seniors care within six months of their mandate. Ultimately, we’re looking for Canada to have a national seniors strategy in place by 2019.
Why a national seniors strategy is important for all Canadians
When Canada’s universal public health system was set up 50 years ago, the average age of Canadians was 27. Today the average age is 41. Yet the system hasn’t really changed much.
Today, 14 per cent of Canada’s population is over age 65. And seniors account for almost half of health costs. By 2036, those over 65 will make up a quarter of the population — while accounting for 62 per cent of our health costs. The CMA and its campaign partners believe Canada urgently needs to get our health system in shape to meet the growing and evolving needs of our aging population.
The reason it takes nine months to get a hip replacement in Canada is because our hospital beds are crowded with seniors, many of them suffering from dementia and other chronic diseases. They could and should be getting more appropriate care elsewhere. But we as a society haven’t been investing in enough long-term care facilities and home care support. This is a prime reason we need all levels of government to sit down together and start work on a national seniors strategy.
Hospitals in Canada are frequently entering a crisis mode known as Code Gridlock, in which new patients can’t be admitted and emergency patients have to wait on gurneys because no beds are available.
The Alliance will be looking for the major parties to commit to a national seniors strategy involving all levels of government with Ottawa taking the lead role.
Caring for someone in a hospital costs $1,000 a day. Compare that to long-term care at $130 a day and home care at $55 a day. The CMA estimates some $2.3 billion a year could be put to better use in our health care system if we learned to spend smarter by investing in long-term and community care. Something for our politicians to talk about.
We say improving seniors care will go a long way toward fixing the entire health care system. In fact, we don’t believe universal public health care can survive unless seniors care is intelligently redesigned.
The Alliance is calling on the federal government to bring together the provincial and territorial premiers to discuss seniors care within six months of taking office.
Our ultimate goal is for Canada to have a national seniors strategy in place by 2019.
Canadians have a right to expect high-quality health care no matter where they live or how old they are. Governments have a responsibility to make sure high-quality care is there for them. Join our campaign. Future generations are depending on us.