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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.
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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Conservative Party leadership candidates and the future of health care

The Conservative Party of Canada members will elect a new leader on May 27. Who are the leadership candidates focused on Canada’s health and seniors care priorities?
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It all adds up, a new study suggests

A new study by two CIBC economists reveals the costs for Canadians caring for a parent older than 65 adds up to a whopping $33 billion a year.
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MP Serré’s M-106 passes in the House of Commons

MP Serré’s M-106 passes in the House of Commons—study on developing a National Seniors Strategy to be undertaken by Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development.
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New national innovation hub launched to support healthy aging

The new AGE-WELL National Innovation Hub will help ensure Canadians benefit from new and emerging technologies that can support independent living and improve quality of life of older adults and caregivers.
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National Hospice Palliative Care Week 2017

We are often afraid to talk about end of life care issues because it’s about the unknown. But hospice palliative care is about living your life – and living it well - right to the end.
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A national seniors strategy means better health-care for all Canadians

A national strategy on seniors care is needed to help seniors get better access to efficient high-quality care, which will in turn help ensure Canadians of all ages gain improved access to care.
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Hear! Hear! Hearing loss in seniors a growing health care 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

By 2024, seniors will account for 20 per cent of our population, meaning more Canadians will be at greater risk of the “top four” eye diseases and a significantly reduced quality of life.
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Shared housing – Another option for aging in place

Shared housing provides a way for seniors to remain independent, while reducing the financial, physical and social challenges that often accompany aging.
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Aging in Place

Whatever form it takes—spacious suburban bungalow or urban condo—our homes are more than roofs over our heads. We invest them with memories and emotions.
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Federal Budget 2017 fails Canada’s seniors, who need action now

“Today’s budget was an ideal opportunity for the federal government to step up and act to strengthen seniors care,” said CMA President Dr. Granger Avery. “Sadly, Canadians have been left wanting and waiting for leadership from their federal government on this important issue.”
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Canada’s doctors call for national leadership and a focus on seniors

The CMA continues to call for national leadership to protect the health of Canadians. This requires pan-Canadian vision and strategic action to strengthen our system now, and into the future.
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CMA advocates for better seniors care

CMA President Dr. Granger Avery and the CMA’s Chief Policy Advisor, Owen Adams, appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on National Finance on March 1 for their study on the financial implications and regional considerations of Canada’s aging population.
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MP’s motion paves way for much-needed national seniors strategy

Member of Parliament Marc Serré (Nickel Belt) today rose in the House of Commons to call for the creation of a national seniors strategy in Canada.
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Volunteers play a key role in ensuring that the needs of older Canadians are met

Volunteers play a key role in ensuring that the needs of older Canadians are met — from social interaction to fitness — and that seniors can remain active members of their communities.
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Intergenerational programs can contribute to the well-being of individuals and communities

Intergenerational programs can contribute to the well-being of individuals and communities… by facilitating mutually beneficial relationships; volunteering and community building; increasing social cohesion; integration and collaboration; and strengthening family relationships.
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Nickel Belt MP tables motion in support of a national seniors strategy

Nickel Belt Member of Parliament Marc Serré believes a national seniors strategy is needed to address the demographic shift and help the system adapt to this new reality.
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Elder abuse prevention is everybody’s business

Recent survey results indicate that approximately 8.2% of older adults are affected by elder abuse in Canada. However, given that only one in five incidents is disclosed to someone in a position to help, this rate is likely much higher.
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Unlicensed seniors needing rides increases to 40 per cent

Whether they are funded by municipalities, agencies or totally on a fee-for-service basis, these seniors transportation organizations require volunteer drivers.
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The rise of the patient navigator

The rise of the patient navigator — sometimes also called nurse navigator or even health care concierge — addresses the need for guides, translators and advocates.
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A new approach to caring for seniors is spreading across Canada and internationally

The Acute Care for Elders (ACE) strategy has made real improvements for patients over the age of 65, including shorter hospital stays, fewer readmissions to hospital, and greater chance of returning home rather than to an institution such as a long term care home.
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Home care key factor as three provinces sign agreements with Ottawa

New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador have joined with the federal government to sign separate deals on health care transfer payments, and it appears that increased funding for home care was a major selling point for all three.
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Groundhog Day-type discussions have to stop, says CMA

Canada needs urgent political leadership to ensure our health care system evolves to meet the needs of our aging population.
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Bringing Clarity to the World of Specialist Eye Care: Your Ophthalmologist

Like many Canadians, you may see either an optometrist or a general ophthalmologist for your regular eye exams while your eyes are healthy. Unfortunately, eye conditions or disorders can develop in spite of a good eye health care program.
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National strategy needed to help dementia patients live independently

Dementia is a progressive and degenerative condition causing memory loss and the impairment of brain activity. Over time, it robs its patients of the ability to live independently.
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Nursing home program music to CMA’s ears

"What I love about this program is the effort to bring together the nursing home, library staff and high school students to help improve life for the nursing home residents...It’s an example of what can be accomplished when there is a will to act.”
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Improved functioning is particularly crucial when it comes to Canada’s growing number of seniors

Improved functioning is particularly crucial when it comes to Canada’s growing number of seniors, and Pamela Siekierski couldn’t agree more.
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CMA releases platform for new Canadian Health Accord

As Canada’s health ministers meet in Toronto to discuss the key issues affecting the health of Canadians, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has released its plan for a new Health Accord to give our nation’s health care system a much-needed reboot.
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We need to act now!

As the CMA continues spreading its message about the urgent need for a national seniors strategy to provide better care for our rapidly aging population, politicians appear to be listening.
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Accessing Oral Health Care Can be Difficult

While it is impossible to predict a person’s future oral health care costs, it may be worth having a discussion with your oral health care provider about what you might expect in the next 5, 10 or even 15 years.
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New report decries “patchwork” approach to seniors care in Canada

A new report launched today by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) shows that many seniors are falling through cracks in terms of accessing care and services due to a lack of a national approach and strategy.
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Ontario Launching Consultations to Improve Dementia Care

Ontario is launching consultations across the province to help develop a new dementia strategy, which will improve access to quality care for people living with dementia and boost support for those who care for them.
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Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors

Federal, Provincial and Territorial (F/P/T) Ministers Responsible for Seniors met today in Vancouver to discuss key issues related to seniors that matter to all Canadians such as caregiver readiness and social inclusion.
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Toronto Star endorses CMA Vision for Health Accord that includes Seniors Plan

One of Canada’s leading daily newspapers has taken a public stand in favour of the Canadian Medical Association’s proposal for the next Health Accord.
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MP Andrew Leslie hosted a roundtable with residents of his riding

With a new Health Accord to be negotiated by the federal, provincial and territorial governments, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has been encouraging MPs to meet with their constituents in order to discuss the importance of including seniors care in this agreement.
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CMA Releases 16th Annual National Report Card on Health Care

The CMA’s 16th Annual National Report Card on Health Care focused on solutions to address the health care needs of Canada’s aging population that could be included in the soon-to-be negotiated Health Accord between the federal, provincial and territorial governments.
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Nursing Home Care: Evolving to better meet patients’ needs

There’s reason to be hopeful in the area of nursing home care today. The industry has been maturing to better meet the needs of increasingly frail seniors at the end of their lives.
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Hospice in Moncton, NB, focuses on compassionate care at the end of life

A hospice team in Moncton, New Brunswick, is providing compassionate care and helping people in the community have the best quality of life they can, in the time they have remaining.
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National dementia strategy one step closer to being a reality

A former minister in the Harper government has introduced a bill to create a national dementia strategy ― and it looks likely to pass the House of Commons this fall.
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Ottawa setting up online tool to help caregivers help veterans

Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr announced July 12 that Saint Elizabeth Health Care in Ottawa has been awarded a contract worth approximately $383,000 to design, develop and deliver an e-learning program for caregivers of Canadian veterans.
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Ontario putting $100 million into home care aid

Ontario is making a $100-million infusion into its home care system this year that will include break times or respite for overworked caregivers looking after chronically-ill loved ones.
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The CMA goes to the Council of the Federation

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) meet individually with premiers and held public roundtables on seniors care and the upcoming Health Accord.
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Time to Start a Reflection to Stop Senior Abuse

It can be difficult for a senior person to recognize they are being abused when the perpetrator is a relative. It is equally difficult to admit you’ve been the victim of a phone scam—no one wants to look stupid. And let’s not forget the possible fear of reprisal for reporting mistreatment.
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Rx for premiers: Invest in change for health care

Health care now consumes half of provincial revenues because we are getting older. Statistics Canada reported last fall that there are more Canadians over the age of 65 than kids under 15. Some 16.1 per cent of us make up that age group; by 2051, it will be one in four.
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Most homes with dementia patients rely heavily on informal caregivers, StatsCan says

85 per cent of Canadians diagnosed with dementia and living at home relied ― at least in part ― on family or friends as informal caregivers, Statistics Canada said in a recent study.
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Memory Fitness® helps seniors rejuvenate their brain

As more Canadians are living longer, the Memory Fitness® program was created with the goal of helping older adults rejuvenate their brain and slow the memory loss or cognitive decline associated with aging, using a recreational and fun approach.
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CMA Pushes Home Care Fund

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is proposing the creation of an innovation fund to expand home care services as the best way to invest the $3 billion that the federal government has already pledged for urgently needed improvements in this area.
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One Voice for Seniors Care

The most effective advocacy tactic is also the simplest: many voices speaking as one, delivering the same message.
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Inspired Approaches to COPD: Improving Care and Creating Value

Across Canada today, an estimated 800,000 Canadians live with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Of all chronic diseases, COPD is the number one reason for hospitalizations in Canada.
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How a non-issue like health played a role in the 2015 election

Last fall’s federal election was an important milestone in the evolution of the Canadian health care system and DemandaPlan supporters can take a lot of the credit, says Dr. Chris Simpson, past president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA).
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CMA, NBMS sit down with Premier, top officials over care of the aging

Dr. Chris Simpson, past president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), and Anthony Knight, Chief Executive Officer of the New Brunswick Medical Society (NBMS), sat down June 15 with Premier Brian Gallant and provincial Health Minister Victor Boudreau.
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Taking seniors off antipsychotics shows dramatic improvement in care

The CFHI released dramatic results from a bold pan-Canadian initiative reducing the inappropriate use of antipsychotic medication among seniors in long term care (LTC)
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CMA welcomes medical assisted-dying legislation’s passage through Parliament

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is pleased that historic federal legislation on medical aid in dying is now in place.
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Better Health is Possible for Canada

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) – backed by our over 83,000 physician members and our 35,000 Demand a Plan public supporters – agrees and now is the time to act.
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CMA Advocates for Seniors Care at Liberal, Conservative Conventions

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) took its campaign for better seniors care to Winnipeg and Vancouver in late May to meet face-to-face with ministers, Members of Parliament (MP) and political staffers attending the Liberal and Conservative party conventions.
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The case of Mr. S and how the health care system failed him

This is the story of Mr. S. and it illustrates how we could be doing better for the good of patients and the sustainably of the health care system.
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Atlantic premiers want more money to look after aging populations

Atlantic premiers have teamed up to call for a Health Accord that takes into account their aging populations — the oldest in the country.
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Age-friendly Communities are Key to a Sustainable Health Plan for Aging Canadians

The old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is true in all areas of life but especially when it comes to health, particularly as we advance in years.
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Ottawa spending $200.7 million for housing for seniors

The federal government is spending $200.7 million over two years on construction, repair and adaptation of affordable housing for seniors, starting in 2016-17, Finance Minister Bill Morneau says.
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Philpott pledges to stop health fees after lawsuit

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott promises to make sure that the access Canadians have to their health care system is based on need, not on their ability to pay.
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Conservative MP tables private bill for national dementia strategy

Former justice minister Rob Nicholson has tabled a private member’s bill in the House of Commons that calls on the provinces to develop a cooperative plan to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
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