Federal Government Recognizes Home Care in Economic Action Plan 2013

MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 22, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Home Care Association (CHCA) is pleased the federal government has recognized the vital role of home care to better meet the health care needs of Canadians in their Economic Action Plan 2013.  Evidence has shown that home care can alleviate health care costs and increase quality of life by effectively supporting frail and vulnerable seniors to remain independent and safe at home.

The majority of home care services are provided to seniors.  Across Canada 1 in every 6 seniors (65 plus) is currently receiving home care.  "Seniors prefer to live at home and want to stay there as long as possible, however managing chronic conditions and disabling physical limitations requires help with everyday activities," stated Nadine Henningsen, CHCA Executive Director.  "Personal support services are vital to ensuring vulnerable individuals get appropriate care and don't experience unnecessary hospital visits or premature admissions to long-term care facilities."

Expanding tax relief for home care services, an action taken by the federal government in the 2013 budget, is an important step in supporting the needs of our aging population and enabling individuals to live independently in their homes.  The GST/HST exemption on personal support services will help minimize the financial burden placed on the estimated 500,000 Canadians privately purchasing home care services every year (Health Council of Canada).

Direct funding of $48 million over two years from the federal government to increase use of technologies such as TeleHealth in First Nations communities will enable a wide range of services including palliative care, wound care, pre-and post-operative care, chronic care and rehabilitation to be provided in the home and community.  "Research has shown that technologies such as TeleHealth and Telemonitoring can improve outcomes and support people in their homes", stated John Schram, CHCA President. "Remote monitoring is one of the most promising areas for improving health outcomes in the area of chronic disease management."

The announcements in the Economic Action Plan 2013 are important in supporting the shift in our health care to long-term, chronic care in the home setting.   The Canadian Home Care Association welcomes the opportunity to work with all governments to ensure:

  • Home care has the necessary resources to meet the growing demand and needs of our aging population.
  • Technology is leveraged to enable remote access to health care and support self-care.
  • Services are provided to safeguard the health and wellness of family caregivers who provide 70% of the care in the home.
  • Articulation of harmonized principles for home care to set the foundation for standards and indicators that can be shared across the country.

About the Canadian Home Care Association
The CHCA is a national not-for-profit membership association that includes governments, administration organizations, service providers, researchers, educators and others with an interest in home care. As the national voice of home care, the CHCA promotes excellence through leadership, advocacy, awareness and knowledge.

SOURCE: Canadian Home Care Association

For further information:

Nadine Henningsen, Executive Director
Ph: 289-290-4389
Email: nhenningsen@cdnhomecare.ca
www.cdnhomecare.ca