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SOCIAL EQUITY AND INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY

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CMA’s 2018 pre-budget brief provides key recommendations to help improve the productivity and effectiveness of the health care system for Canadians across the country.

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Meaningful Social Connections

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With social networks flourishing in the digital realm, it’s easier than ever to remain connected with family members, friends and strangers who share an interest. For Canada’s seniors, though, isolation and loneliness remain challenging issues. One program in downtown Toronto — operated by two of the city’s oldest community organizations — is working to provide relief.

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Make Your Voice Heard!

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Federal, provincial and territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors are meeting on September 13, 2017 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Let’s make sure they know we’re concerned about the lack of a cohesive national seniors care strategy.

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Coming soon! Facebook Live session on seniors care with Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott!

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Federal Minister of Health, the Honourable Jane Philpott, is coming to the 150th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Medical Association and will answer your questions on seniors care. The session will be LIVE on Facebook at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 21 – so mark your calendar!

 

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Sedentary living puts many older Canadians at risk

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Call it one of life’s greatest ironies. After six or seven decades of early mornings, physical labour, child care and all the other elements of a full life, haven’t you earned some down time? It makes sense to just put your feet up and enjoy retirement.

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The Standing Senate Committee on National Finance says a National seniors strategy will help Canada manage its aging population

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More Canadians are over the age of 65 than under 14 — a profound demographic change that is creating significant challenges for the country’s finances and affecting Canada’s economy, the Senate Committee on National Finance said in a report.

To counter these effects, the committee is urging the federal government to adopt a national seniors strategy to control the rising costs associated with an aging population while ensuring elderly Canadians get the care they need. It’s one of four recommendations the committee included in its report, Getting Ready: For a New Generation of Active Seniors.

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The goal is seniors who are healthy, active and living in the community

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Before being admitted to the hospital with pneumonia, John was able to walk around the block every day. The 88-year-old lives at home, where he is cared for by his wife with support from their local Community Care Access Centre, despite suffering from dementia and an increasing lack of mobility. For a senior like John, the ideal outcome is excellent hospital care, followed by discharge and after-care that allow him to get home and back to his exercise routine as quickly as possible.

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Canada’s Indigenous people face many instances of inequity, but the more than 40,000 seniors among them often experience particular challenges.

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In many instances, they fall into the cracks between federal and provincial/territorial jurisdiction and face bureaucratic slowdowns. Critics say that Aboriginal, Métis and Inuit Canadians over age 65 are paying for the lack of collaborative problem-solving between government departments and agencies. They point to poor communication and coordination at every level, including provincial/territorial ministries, the federal government and Indigenous communities. For example, some hospitals have sent frail patients home to their communities without checking if there are appropriate support services because historically Indigenous peoples have been viewed as a federal responsibility.

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Prioritize the creation of alternatives to acute hospital care for Canada’s seniors

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Canadian seniors would be healthier, and the health care system more effective, if an affordable, supportive housing strategy was in place throughout the country. That concept was selected as the top priority by a majority of delegates at the National Health Leadership Conference, held in Vancouver June 12–13.

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Loneliness

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Perhaps no two lines have ever captured the aging process better than the opening of Leonard Cohen’s “Tower of Song”:

Well, my friends are gone and my hair is grey, 

I ache in the places where I used to play.

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