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Universal Access to Healthcare: Tackling the Unique Callenges of Canadians with Disabilities as Seniors Population Rises

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Stay current on issues affecting seniors in Canada and progress toward a national seniors strategy. We constantly scan the news and post the latest developments here.
Universal Access to Healthcare: Tackling the Unique Callenges of Canadians with Disabilities as Seniors Population Rises
The significant increase in the population of seniors means it is more important than ever to make adaptations to physical environments and transportation so that they are accessible to people with differing levels of independence and who use mobility aids such as walkers, wheelchairs, scooters and canes.
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Healthy Canadians Grant Spotlight: Pilgrims Hospice
Thanks to a Healthy Canadians Grant, Pilgrims Hospice in Edmonton, Alberta, is expanding their popular Adult Respite Day Program with a new initiative focused on providing care for seniors suffering from dementia.
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Healthy Canadians Grant Spotlight: Ocean View Continuing Care
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia rob those affected of their most precious possession — their memories. A new project funded in part by a Healthy Canadians Grant aims to improve memory recall in seniors living with these conditions by allowing them to virtually visit familiar places from their past.
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Universal Access to Healthcare: Tackling the Unique Callenges of Canadians with Disabilities as Seniors Population Rises

The significant increase in the population of seniors means it is more important than ever to make adaptations to physical environments and transportation so that they are accessible to people with differing levels of independence and who use mobility aids such as walkers, wheelchairs, scooters and canes.
Read more

Healthy Canadians Grant Spotlight: Pilgrims Hospice

Thanks to a Healthy Canadians Grant, Pilgrims Hospice in Edmonton, Alberta, is expanding their popular Adult Respite Day Program with a new initiative focused on providing care for seniors suffering from dementia.
Read more

Healthy Canadians Grant Spotlight: Ocean View Continuing Care

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia rob those affected of their most precious possession — their memories. A new project funded in part by a Healthy Canadians Grant aims to improve memory recall in seniors living with these conditions by allowing them to virtually visit familiar places from their past.
Read more

The State of Caregivers Across the Globe

Supporting caregivers and the vital role they play in home care across Canada was the focus of a conference held recently in Toronto by the Canadian Home Care Association and its affiliate Carers Canada.
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Conference Report – This is Long-Term Care: Disrupting the Norm 2018

Our contributing editor for Fall Prevention Month, Dr. Eoghan O’Shea, attended a long-term care conference on behalf of the CMA from Nov. 14 to 16; he heard presentations relating to the intersection between the different facets of long-term care and fall prevention.
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Canadian Association on Gerontology 2018

Canadian Association on Gerontology 2018 — Making It Matter: Mobilizing Aging Research, Practice & Policy
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Fall Prevention resources

This list of fall prevention resources was compiled by Dr. Eoghan O’Shea as part of his collaboration with Demand a Plan for Fall Prevention Month
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Prevent Falls This Fall 2018

Many things can contribute to a person’s risk of falling. But what are some of the steps we can take to reduce those risks?
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Fall Prevention in images

Take a look at this infographic to learn common causes of falls, and some easy things you can do to reduce your risk!
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Fall Prevention Month: Addressing the Needs of Caregivers

Fall prevention awareness is essential for anyone living with frailty – and those who assist and care for them.
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Fall Prevention: Awareness and Risk Minimization Are Key

Many people might not consider the occasional fall to come with too many risks,but for seniors, the consequences can be serious.
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Ask the right questions about your medications

Patients and caregivers can ask their doctor, nurse or pharmacist for a medication review. Use the 5 Questions to Ask About Your Medications to guide your conversation.
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Not All Meds Get Along

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and its’ campaign Demand a Plan are proud to participate in Canadian Patient Safety Week 2018, taking place from October 29th to November 2nd.
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CMA Healthy Canadians Grant Spotlight: Intergenerational Cooking Project

Many seniors in our communities are isolated and don’t have access to nutritious foods.
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Experts in the Field: IHA Canada

By now everyone has read, seen or heard the statistics surrounding seniors. Centenarians are the largest growing population segment in Canada, followed closely by seniors over age 85.
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For Seniors, Influenza can Pose a Serious Health Threat

For many Canadians, a bout of the flu is an inconvenience; perhaps even representing some downtime to be pampered by a partner and binge on Netflix for a day or two. But for Canada’s 5.9 million seniors, influenza can pose a serious health threat.
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CMA Healthy Canadians Grants Spotlight: Global Walkers

Imagine walking around the world without ever leaving your hometown.
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CMA Healthy Canadians Grant Spotlight: Therapy Dog Program

For many people, animals are an important part of their lives. For seniors, especially those who are socially isolated or living in nursing homes, hospitals or retirement residences, animals can provide comfort and companionship, reduce stress and promote a sense of joy and well-being.
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Female Seniors Making the Most of Golden Years

More and more women are facing the realities of aging alone, but this doesn’t have to be a negative thing.
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Seniors day is coming!

Enter our Seniors Day contest!
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Women Carry A Lot On Their Caring Shoulders

Being an informal caregiver requires devotion and involves a great deal of sacrifice and stress. More often than not, the brunt of that responsibility, sacrifice and stress falls to women.
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Hear! Hear! Hearing Loss in Seniors a Growing Health Challenge

Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions affecting Canadians over the age of 65, and the number of older Canadians with hearing loss is growing fast.
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Better eye health for seniors is good public policy

The reality is that many eye diseases have no symptoms and a verdict of 20/20 vision doesn’t necessarily mean all is well.
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British Columbia Plans Diversity Village to Care for Multicultural Aging Population

In Surrey, British Columbia, plans are underway to build a long-term care home that provides services for members of the “aging and diverse multicultural population” who are unable to care for themselves.
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Intergenerational Home Sharing: Tackles Housing Crisis, Saves Money And Creates Unlikely Friendships

In Toronto, an elderly widow decided it might be a good idea to get a roommate; so, she opened her doors to young strangers — mostly international students.
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Age-Friendly Communities for Healthy, Independent Aging

Walk a mile in Ben's shoes and see the importance of age-friendly cities.
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RISE on a Mission to Combat Loneliness and Isolation of Older People across Canada

Launched in 2015, the RISE campaign exists to help Canadians of all ages and in all regions gain a greater awareness of the impact of loneliness and isolation on older citizens.
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‘I felt welcomed’: 25 patients attend the CMA’s first-ever Health Summit

Alongside more than 700 physicians and health stakeholders, the patient group took part in two days of presentations and panels related to this year’s theme: innovation in health care.
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Transportation Hotline for Vancouver Seniors

Transportation presents seniors and their caregivers with more than a few challenges
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Researcher at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital in Montreal Working to Uncover the Secrets of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating, yet enigmatic illness that affects hundreds of thousands of Canadians and even more people worldwide. There is no cure, no way to halt its attack on the brain, and very little that can be done to predict who might acquire the disease and why.
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CMA Health Summit: Watch the sessions live

A livestream will be available on the Health Summit website starting at 7 am CDT (local Winnipeg time) on Monday, August 20 so you can watch the sessions in real time!
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CMA Health Summit Spotlight: Philip Edcumbe

As a student in the MD/Phd program at the University of British Columbia, where he is pursuing a medical degree and has completed his PhD in engineering, Edgcumbe has helped develop many new medical technologies: an augmented-reality display of ultrasound images to help surgeons better “see” patients’ organs, and the pico lantern, a device that maps and projects a patient’s tumor(s) and blood vessels – in 3D – onto their body during surgery.
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Spotlight: The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Canada’s New Minister of Seniors

On July 18, 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Hamilton West MP Filomena Tassi as Canada’s new Minister of Seniors. The portfolio dedicated to seniors that Tassi is in charge of is a new, welcome addition to cabinet for long-time seniors’ advocates – including the CMA and Demand a Plan.
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CMA Health Summit Spotlight: Zayna Khayat

After a year in the Netherlands, working as “Innovation Sherpa in Chief” at the REShape Health Innovation Centre, Zayna Khayat returned to Canada in January with a fresh perspective on what that future could look like.
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Fun. Laughter. Love. — Peel Region Long-Term Care Home Helps Seniors with Dementia Live Better

Imagine being trapped. Reliving your darkest moments, over and over. Being isolated. No one to talk to, to break the cycle of darkness. For most of us, it’s a terrifying thought. But for many of the hundreds of thousands of seniors living with dementia, this is the reality.
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New Pilot Project Could Deliver a New Level of Health Care to Seniors

In October 2017, the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre (Perley Rideau), together with The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) and the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), launched a pilot project to assist elderly patients who no longer require hospital care but are not yet well enough to return home.
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Creation of federal minister of seniors moves the dial on the CMA’s call for a national seniors plan

The federal government has created a new cabinet post for seniors, fulfilling one of the key recommendations in the CMA’s seniors care campaign.
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The CMA Takes its Work on Seniors Care to the International Level at the United Nations

On July 24, CMA President Dr. Laurent Marcoux was in New York City to support the creation a new UN convention on the rights of older persons and to advocate for Canada to champion its adoption.
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Canadian Government Responds to HUMA Recommendations for Seniors

On June 20, 2018, the federal government responded to a report by the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (the HUMA Committee) entitled Advancing Inclusion and Quality of Life for Seniors in which they addressed six of the HUMA Committee’s recommendations in the report related to income security, housing, home care, informal caregivers, age-friendly communities and a national seniors care strategy.
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New federal cabinet minister appointed for seniors

Your support led to action!
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“Retirement” Isn’t What It Used to Be: Many Seniors Want to, Do Keep Working

As life expectancies are much longer now and when people retire they often have several decades of life ahead of them.
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Combating Loneliness and Isolation in Seniors with Community Engagement

Your life shouldn’t stop when you become a senior, or when you retire; you should be able to remain actively and meaningfully engaged with the world.
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Aging with a Disability: Flipping the Script of the Healthy Aging Paradigm

Many Canadians age into disability, meaning that they will acquire conditions and limitations as they grow old. But what of seniors who age with a disability?
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Senate Adopts Motion to Implement a National Silver Alert System

Silver Alert operates in a similar way to the AMBER Alert system for missing children but instead broadcasts alerts for missing adults who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
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Frailty: It's Not Just About Age

The Canadian Frailty Network (CFN) is Canada’s leading network for seniors living with frailty. But the CFN takes great care to make it clear that frailty and age are not interchangeable terms, discussing how complex the issue is and how proactive efforts can help in caring for the frail population.
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2018 AgeWell Celebrations

On Friday, June 8, the CMA took part in the 7th annual Age Well Solutions conference in Ottawa, along with 31 exhibitors.
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Considering Dedicated Housing for LGBT Seniors

LGBT seniors say going into residential care can feel like going back in the closet. What are ways to address concerns about being out and open in a residential care setting?
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Quebec Government Intoduces 5-Year Action Plan for Seniors

On June 4, 2018, the Quebec government released its second five-year action plan to support active aging in the province.
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Dr. Chris Simpson on “Canada’s Wait Time Problem”

Former CMA president Dr. Chris Simpson publishes article on the wait time problem in Canadian health care; stresses the effect on seniors.
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Pharmacare is back on the national agenda; what it means for the CMA

Pharmacare is once again on the national agenda, with the parliamentary health committee issuing its report on the topic, and the Liberal government launching a federal advisory council on a national pharmacare plan.
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Dan's Law

The Duma family and Dr. Cargill are devoted advocates, raising awareness about necessary access to palliative care for so many patients who cannot wait three months.
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The patient perspective: CMA Patient Voice call for nominations now open

Are you interested in being a part of a vibrant patient group?
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New Alberta Law Set to Empower Seniors Living in Long-term Care Facilities

A new Alberta law titled The Resident and Family Councils Act, in effect as of Apr. 1, 2018, will give seniors living in long-term care and licensed supportive living facilities the right to establish self-governing resident and family councils.
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Quebec Improves Senior Abuse Complaints Process

Quebec is addressing the rise in senior abuse with new legislation that streamlines the process for complainants, with one consolidated committee handling complaints to ensure a quicker and more effective response.
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New Healthy Canadians Grants to support grassroots health initiatives

Healthy Canadians Grants to support seniors health in its first year.
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Quebec Tightens Safety Standards for Most Senior Residences

Quebec government has tightened regulations in residences that house elderly people with significant loss of autonomy, while softening standards in institutions for more autonomous people.
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PEI paramedics fill in the gaps for home care, helping palliative care patients and seniors stay home longer

When home care providers are not available, who can patients turn to? In Prince Edward Island, paramedics are helping to fill in the gaps.
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How can Canada support informal caregivers?

A new white paper, Why Canada Needs to Better Care for Its Working Caregivers, produced by the National Institute of Ageing (NIA) at Ryerson University, examines the financial, social and personal health burdens borne by caregivers in Canada.
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Presenting CMA Patient Voice

The Canadian Medical Association’s (CMA’s) newest patient engagement initiative, the CMA Patient Voice aims to further enhance our ability to advocate for a healthy population and a vibrant profession.
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HUMA Committee releases its recommendations on seniors care in Canada

On Mar. 29, 2018, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (the HUMA Committee) presented a report titled Advancing Inclusion and Quality of Life for Seniors in the House of Commons.
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New appointments to the National Seniors Council

On Feb. 23, 2018, the face of the National Seniors Council was renewed with the appointment of a new chair and four new members.
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Paramedic Home Care Programs Increasingly Popular

Ontario’s Prescott and Russell area is already set to expand their paramedic home care program in July 2018.
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International report compares seniors care in Canada to that in other developed countries: here are four paradoxical findings

In 2017, The Commonwealth Fund published an international report on seniors health care across 11 developed countries.
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Staff shortages in Quebec’s long-term care residences

Elderly seniors in Quebec’s long-term care (LTC) facilities are growing in number but receiving less care than in the past because of staff shortages caused, in part, by the difficulty in recruiting personnel.
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Quebec Home Care Initiative Benefits Sick Seniors

A unique health care project in the province of Quebec, where nurses pay daily visits to sick seniors in their homes, is having clear results: two out of every three patients who have participated in the project have been able to avoid unnecessary hospital emergency admissions.
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Could physician assistants be the next great solution for senior care in Canada?

In early 2018, CAPA published a position statement encouraging the provinces to introduce valuable solutions like PAs into its senior care strategies.
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Seizing the opportunities helps create the right road map

A note from CMA President Laurent Marcoux to Nova Scotia Physician. As printed in the March 2018 issue of doctorsNS.
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Successful Hospital-to-Home Program Enhances Need for Home Caregiver Funding

More than 2,000 Canadians with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who took part in the INSPIRED collaboration have endured 64% fewer hospital readmissions and 53% fewer emergency department visits since the program launched in 2014–15.
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BC Residential Care Survey and Directory: Important Step in Improving Care Quality

British Columbia (BC) recently undertook Canada’s most exhaustive survey of seniors living in long-term care (LTC) facilities, highlighting the province’s commitment to quality of care for this vulnerable sector of the population.
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Funding Request for Seniors’ Quality Home Care in Ontario

Pressure is mounting on governments to boost home care funding, with Home Care Ontario recently calling for $600 million in additional annual funding for home care service providers.
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How Senior Living Advisors Remove the Stress of Finding a Retirement Residence

Finding a retirement residence can be an overwhelming process for seniors and their adult children. As such, more businesses are beginning to offer advisory services and counsel to assist families with this major life transition.
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Cancer survival rates improve for patients between 60 and 79

When the subject is cancer, the news is seldom good. But one key positive fact that can be drawn from a new report by Cancer Care Ontario is that cancer survival has improved for people diagnosed between ages 60 and 79.
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Physicians developing local, scalable and sustainable solutions for seniors

Facing the challenge of an aging population, BC’s General Practices Service Committee instituted a residential care initiative aimed at enabling physicians to develop local, scalable and sustainable solutions.
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For Winnipeg seniors, it was a year of change

In early 2017, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) was dealing with a situation common in cities across Canada; 78 of the city’s hospital beds were occupied by people waiting for spaces to open up in nursing homes. This is how they changed that.
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Creating affordable and supportive housing strategies for seniors (podcast)

When it comes to finding supportive housing, affordability can be an enormous challenge for seniors.
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Public and health professionals agree: Canada needs patient-centered care

Consensus is often hard to come by in these binary times, but there is a health care issue on which both the general Canadian public and health professionals agree: the need for patient-centred care.
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Creatively addressing ALC needs in the GTA

A shuttered Toronto hospital has reopened to provide specialist care for 150 alternative-level-of-care (ALC) patients transitioning out of area hospitals.
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CMA’s Demand a Plan campaign reaches 60,000 supporters!

Our Demand a Plan campaign has officially hit the 60,000 supporter mark!
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Sizing up the demand for long-term care in Canada

Visualizing the costs of an aging population.
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How Sercovie helps seniors “Move, Taste, Discover”

One of Quebec’s most successful and unique seniors’ community services organizations started life in 1973 as a neighbourhood initiative launched by a small group of academics and locals concerned with the quality of life of seniors in their area.
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2017: A year in review

In a year when Canada passed a demographic milestone, Canadian supporters of improved care for seniors made their voices heard loud and clear. Combined, these events made 2017 a year to remember.
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Home for the Holidays

This year, “Home for the Holidays” has a different meaning for Grandma and Katie.
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Now is the time to fight for Canada's seniors

It’s a story that’s become all too common – Canadian seniors can’t get the care they need at home and are forced to leave. As part of a national seniors plan, we are recommending the development of specific principles for home care funding.
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Canada will need 199,000 long-term care beds by 2035

It’s an equation that can’t be ignored. The older we get, the more likely it is that some of us will need assistance beyond what we can receive in our own homes. As Canada’s population ages, building new long-term care capacity will enable our communities to provide better care to their citizens and generate economic growth, says a new study by the Conference Board of Canada.
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End-of-Life Care is Everyone’s Business: How Compassionate Communities Help Bridge the Support Gap

In 2010, Ian, my partner, learned he had terminal cancer. In 2014 he was in the final weeks of his cancer journey – and I became his sole caregiver. 
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For Canada’s seniors, influenza can pose a serious health threat

For many Canadians, a bout of the flu is an inconvenience; perhaps even representing some downtime to be pampered by a partner and binge on Netflix for a day or two. But for Canada’s 5.9 million seniors, influenza can pose a serious health threat. It can even be deadly.
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Small space. Big idea.

With the cost of seniors residences rising and wait-lists for long-term facilities growing longer, an Ottawa-based company has turned an old concept into a new alternative.
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Advancing Inclusion and Quality of Life for Seniors

The CMA’s submission to the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, Advancing Inclusion and Quality of Life for Seniors, outlines 15 recommendations for how seniors can remain active and engaged citizens of our communities.
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What is technological literacy?

What is technological literacy? According to our research and Students for Seniors’ technology tutoring experience over the last three years, it is the ability, curiosity and attitude to confidently explore and discover new and existing technologies and to use them to enhance one’s lifestyle.
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Call it a silent killer in a land of plenty

Poor nutrition is putting the lives of many Canadian seniors at risk, according to a new research report. Analysis of results from the 2008–2009 Canadian Community Health Survey – Healthy Aging indicates that close to 1 million Canadian seniors are at nutritional risk. Seniors at nutritional risk who participated in the survey were 60% more likely to die during the survey’s follow-up period and 20% more likely to be admitted to hospital than seniors not at risk.
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Social Equity and Increasing Productivity

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

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!

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

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.
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Sedentary living puts many older Canadians at risk

For all seniors, physical activity is an important part of a fall-prevention strategy. Exercise programs that promote balance training combined with strength and flexibility have been shown to be effective in significantly reducing falls and the injuries resulting from falls.
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Senate Committee on Finance says Seniors Strategy will help Canada manage its aging population

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

With the tagline “independence, activity and good health,” the provincial plan promotes wellness and prevention to improve equity, access and quality of care for the elderly.
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Canada’s 40,000 Indigenous seniors face particular challenges

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

Canadian seniors would be healthier, and the health care system more effective, if an affordable, supportive housing strategy was in place throughout the country.
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Well, my friends are gone and my hair is grey, I ache in the places where I used to play

The greying and aches are to be anticipated, and often begin to creep up on us well before the age of 65, but the loneliness can be surprising and debilitating.
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