Policy Framework for a Seniors Strategy is a Clear Call for Action

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - The Canadian Home Care Association (CHCA) recognizes and appreciates the Canadian Medical Association (CMA)'s leadership role in defining and promoting a national policy framework for a seniors strategy released today.

The framework outlines the issues, challenges and enablers for seniors' health and care. The broad scope includes: wellness and prevention, primary care, home care and community support, acute and specialty care, long-term care and palliative care. The strategy provides a comprehensive road map for governments and stakeholders.

"The principles underpinning the strategy, that of a high quality health care system and centred on individuals and their families, align with the CHCA's recently released Harmonized Principles for Home Care" stated Nadine Henningsen, CHCA Executive Director. "Key priorities for all home care programs are care that emphasizes health promotion and illness prevention, and one that is equitable, sustainable and accountable."

Home care is essential to meeting the needs of our aging population. Nationally, one in every six seniors is receiving home care services and the demand is expected to increase. The need for services is outpacing public funding and resulting in rationed services, increased demand on family caregivers, unnecessary hospital visits or premature admissions to long-term care facilities.  Although provincial and territorial governments have recognized the value of home care in supporting frail seniors to live independently in their homes, an average of only 4 percent of the public health care funds is currently spent on home care.

The framework identifies and reinforces the need for enhanced social policy and funding to ensure effective home care for all Canadians. "The recommendation for national standards is a critical action step in achieving a level of consistent home care across the country and setting a clear benchmark for funding and resources allocation", said Nadine Henningsen.

The framework recognizes the important role of family caregivers and calls for actions to alleviate the financial and physical burden of caregiving. "With increasing demand for home care and limited resources, the onus of care falls on family caregivers, who provide the majority of home support services to the frail elderly and to those with chronic, long-term conditions," said Jill Robbins, President, CHCA.  "Recognizing and supporting family caregivers is an essential part of a comprehensive seniors strategy."

As an active participant in the work and consultations resulting in this seniors strategy, the CHCA is committed to collaboratively advancing actions that will result in an effective, integrated health care and supportive community care for seniors to have the best quality of life possible.

The Canadian Home Care Association (CHCA), incorporated in 1990, is a national not-for-profit membership association representing home care stakeholders from governments (federal, provincial and territorial), health authorities, publicly funded home care programs, service providers, medical and technology companies, researchers and others with an interest in home care. The CHCA advances excellence in home care and continuing care through leadership, awareness, advocacy and knowledge.


SOURCE Canadian Home Care Association

For further information: Nadine Henningsen, Executive Director, Canadian Home Care Association, 289-290-4376 Email: nhenningsen@cdnhomecare.ca, Twitter: @CdnHomeCare


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