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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.
How do we make our hospitals senior friendly?
Our hospitals were designed as acute care institutions, and not much about their focus has changed in the six decades since Canada’s health care system took shape.
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CMA Patient Voice: Twelve patient members ready to start work to inform CMA advocacy
CMA Patient Voice – a new patient liaison group that will bring insights from patients and their families to the CMA’s work.
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The Results Are In: Fall Prevention Polls
Throughout November, we asked for your feedback on issues related to fall prevention to better understand where our readers were coming from. Here are the results!
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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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CMA president pledges support to Liberal MPs working for better seniors care

CMA President Dr. Cindy Forbes went to Parliament Hill on April 18 for a private briefing to on how to improve seniors care.
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A Comprehensive Eye Exam Can Save More than Your Vision: It Can Help Save Your Life

There is a disturbing assumption among many adults that losing one’s vision is a natural part of the aging process. While there are certainly some natural changes that happen in the eye as we grow older, they need not lead to blindness.
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Seniors want to age at home

Nadine Henningsen, Executive Director at the Canadian Home Care Association, speaking on how important homecare is to seniors.
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Recognize the Risks for Elder Abuse and Neglect

No one is exempt from mistreatment: it can affect people of all ages, genders, religions, races and ethnic origins. In Canada the problem has not been well understood because no one knew for sure how extensive the problem was, who was affected or why they were affected.
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CFHI and Canadian Frailty Network Improve Healthcare for Older Canadians

The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement announced the 18 organizations that will improve healthcare for older adults by adapting Mount Sinai Hospital’s (Toronto) proven Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Strategy in their healthcare facilities.
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Budget shows improved seniors care to be a work in progress

There may not have been any big-ticket items in this year’s federal budget earmarked for seniors health care. But there were encouraging signals just the same.
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Prescribing physical activity can go a long way in preventing chronic disease

When caring for older patients, Thornton says physicians should not only be talking about medication, but also about what can be done as an adjunct to therapy or in some cases to replace medication altogether.
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Dr. Forbes Goes To Parliament Hill

Dr. Cindy Forbes, president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), headed to Parliament Hill on Mar. 10 with a long shopping list of items she wanted to see included in the Mar. 22 federal budget.
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Health care top priority with Canadian public

A Nanos poll in February showed that Canadians overwhelmingly rank health as their No. 1 priority for the Mar. 22 federal budget, coming in at 43.3 per cent.
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Integrating the mental health care needs of seniors into the overall health care strategy

Canada is in the midst of a major demographic shift. As Canadians are living longer, many are more engaged with their own health. With a longer lifespan comes the burden of chronic disease, including dementia and mental illness.
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The practice of social work within communities: A key asset

Are we ever truly prepared to intervene in lives shattered by illness or grief or to accompany a person and their family towards the end of life?
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Better home care likely the key to better health care for all

Every day, physicians see first-hand the inefficiencies of a broken system trying to support our elderly. It’s commonplace for doctors to assign patients to gurneys in the hallway because hospitals are over capacity by mid-morning.
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First National Initiative To Help Shift Negative Stereotypes

As the only growing age group nationwide, seniors represent the future of our country for foreseeable decades. What role should our health care system play in helping Canadians invest in this future?
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Expanding the Horizons of Medical Students

Dr. Ben Robert, medical director of the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre in Ottawa. Dr. Robert shares his insights into how medical curricula should reflect the shift in patient demographics.
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Canada’s health minister a high-achieving physician

It’s far from typical for a rookie MP to be sworn in as Canada’s health minister. And it’s far from typical for a physician — and a Canadian Medical Association (CMA) member at that — to fill the job.
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Home Share Newfoundland

Home Share Newfoundland is a program that pairs Memorial University students with residents in the community who are 50 years of age and older.
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Nova Scotia doctor designs care model tailored to seniors

Dr. Barry Clarke, a family physician in Nova Scotia, has made it his priority to ensure seniors across the province receive more coordinated, efficient care that ultimately frees up hospital beds and emergency rooms.
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Champlain CCAC launches New Home Care Innovation Centre

The Champlain Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) is launching a new Innovation Centre that will help more people stay at home longer, better support caregivers, and improve access to home health care technologies.
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B.C. fitness program proves exercise is crucial, especially as you age

On Gabriola Island, about five kilometres east of Nanaimo, senior citizens are discovering the power of exercise.
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Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry Commends the CMA

Last week, the Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry (CAPHD) commended the Canadian Medical Association for our “Demand a Plan” advocacy strategy.
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New Wait Time Alliance Report Card Reveals Important Lessons For New Health Accord

For the past decade, the Wait Time Alliance (WTA) has been reporting on Canada’s progress to reduce health care wait times.
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CMA glad to see agenda-setting dynamic in Throne Speech

Throne Speech addresses the Canadian Medical Association’s long-standing calls for federal leadership on health and social policy
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President of CMA weighs in on Ministerial Mandate letter

Canada’s physicians are glad to see health care back on the federal to-do list with the release Friday of mandate letters from the Prime Minister to his ministers.
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With election over, CMA looking for action on national seniors strategy

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has pledged to work closely with the new Liberal government and Justin Trudeau to follow through on the need for a national seniors strategy.
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The pan-Canadian chatter

“My friends say I don’t look a day over 66,” jokes Ray of Squamish, British Columbia. At 67 years old, he is seven years in to his retirement–the very retirement he envisioned.
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Public rallies behind seniors strategy at Bruyère roundtable

Public supporters, as well as staff, patients and residents of one of Bruyère’s facilities in Ottawa participated in the latest roundtable discussion held by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) to discuss the need for a national seniors strategy.
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CMA talks better care with seniors in Ottawa

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) recently brought the topic of seniors care to where it matters the most — a long-term care facility.
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Family members caring for elders left to clean up the mess of a failing health care system

Canadians shouldn’t fear growing old. Nor should they fear the treatment they’ll receive when they reach their elderly years.
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The National Seniors Strategy on the election trail and at your door

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.
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NB Premier endorses CMA seniors plan

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and its provincial counterpart brought concerns about seniors care to the epicentre of the demographic storm that is Canada’s aging population during a well-attended public dialogue on the issue in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
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Feds can afford $3.3 billion for health, including seniors, CMA says

A new report by the Conference Board of Canada demonstrates that the federal government can deliver meaningful support for seniors care, starting in the next budget cycle, Dr. Cindy Forbes, president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) said today.
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Long-term care homes shaping a new world for better days ahead

There is something happening in long-term care homes across the country: a cultural shift in the delivery of care.
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Deep River improves services while cutting costs

While Deep River is a small community, Rogers says resources are tight and demand is high given that 23 per cent of the population is aged 65 and older. They’re only funded to provide care for 30 patients, and while they’d like to include more, they lack the staff to do so.
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A small community takes big strides

Emergency rooms across Canada triage and treat a steady, sometimes ballooning, stream of patients on any given day.
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