We are officially past the half-way point in this marathon of an election. In the eight weeks that marked the beginning of the race, over 25,000 people have added their name to help make the need for a National Seniors Strategy an election issue. Not just a bullet point in a speech. Not a one-off tweet. These 25,000 individuals – many of them seniors, many of them who already care for seniors – added their voice because they want the political parties to look at the numbers and appreciate the imminent seniors health crisis we, as a country, are facing. More than that, they want to know that those seeking the high office are going to do something about it.
As the parties think in numbers, specifically number of votes, here are some numbers you, the voter, can share with candidates who may come knocking at your door to seek your vote this fall.
Consider it fodder for conversation.
- Seniors currently account for 16% of our population.
- Our health system is already under pressure, it is not prepared for when the demographic of seniors jumps to 20% of the country’s population in 2025 and then 25% in 2030.
- Health care expenditures rise with each year of life after 65.
- Seniors currently account for 45% of provincial and territorial health care expenditures.
- 747,000 Canadians live with dementia. That number is expected to jump to 1.4 million in the next 16 years.
- 70% of people living with dementia will live in a long-term care home.
- Long-term care costs on average $130 a day, while home care is $55.
- Canada has 60,000 hospital beds. 7,500 of those beds are blocked every day by patients who should be discharged but can’t because the continuing care services are not available to support them.
- Care in a hospital bed can cost Canadians upwards of six times what long-term care costs and 20 times the cost of home care.
- Only 16% of Canadians needing palliative care will actually receive it.
If it is the voter’s angle they are interested in, we have those numbers for you too.
- Amongst Canadians surveyed, six in 10 believe that seniors’ care should be a top priority in political party platforms.
- Seven in 10 believe the health system must change to accommodate the needs of the aging population.
- Nine in 10 support the need for a national seniors strategy.
- Eight in 10 are concerned about the quality of health care they can expect in their immediate future.
- Seven in 10 express concern about their imminent access to home and long-term care options and services.
- Six million voters are caring for an elderly family member right now, many with only a patchwork of services to support them.
That is a lot of Canadians asking for a National Seniors Strategy. Add your voice and make your riding’s candidates think hard about seniors care. It’s a Canadian issue.