More isn’t always better when it comes to prescription medications

By thinking twice before prescribing and talking with patients about the risks of medications, clinicians are tackling overuse

More isn’t always better when it comes to prescription medicationsBy Karen Born and Wendy Levinson EvidenceNetwork.ca Canadians are living longer than ever and we are also taking more medications than ever. And this can make us sicker, not healthier. A report released recently by the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that one in four seniors in Canada take 10 or more medications. That’s…

Putting our health-care workers to better use

It’s not just about having more doctors. It’s time we used all the skills that the wide variety of health workers have to offer

Putting our health-care workers to better useDoes Ontario have enough doctors? Surprisingly, the answer is: Yes, we may have enough doctors. How is this possible when many people don’t have a doctor, or wait days, weeks or even months for a medical appointment? We have more doctors than ever before, but many aren’t located where we need them and many aren’t…

How to keep your aging mind sharp

Research supports the ‘use it or lose it’ theory of mental ability

How to keep your aging mind sharpJust as we need to exercise our bodies to keep them healthy as we age, we must also exercise our minds to keep them from deteriorating. Research shows that people who engage in more activities that stimulate the mind have sharper cognitive functioning as they age than people who do not challenge their brains. In…

Facing frailty head-on

A national seniors strategy needs to account for complexity in the aging process, including risk and vulnerability

Facing frailty head-onBy Russell Williams and John Muscedere EvidenceNetwork.ca Canadians 65 years and older now outnumber children 14 years and under, which means our needs as a society are changing. We’re succeeding in shifting the aging curve through preventive interventions and better public health – that’s good news. But the changing demographic is causing strains in our…

When prescriptions do more harm than good

A new national program has pharmacists dispensing advice on how to curb harmful medications, particularly for seniors

When prescriptions do more harm than goodBy Phil Emberley and Wendy Levinson EvidenceNetwork.ca Pharmacists should be talking to patients about stopping or tapering dangerous medications, like benzodiazepines, to help curb long-term use and dependency. Sleep doesn’t come easy as we age. Take Ilsa, a 78-year-old recent widow. Since her husband passed away, she has slept poorly. A recent hospitalization and the disorienting…

Include people living with frailty in health-care decision-making

Older Canadians say their top priorities are better co-ordinated care systems and more community and home-based supports

Include people living with frailty in health-care decision-makingBy Katherine McGilton and John Muscedere EvidenceNetwork.ca More than one million Canadians are medically frail – approximately 25 per cent of those are over age 65 and 50 per cent past age 85. The aging of Canadian society and the growing number of older adults living with frailty poses unprecedented societal and medical challenges that will…

Religious communities remain an integral part of a healthy society

If we’re not careful, we may recognize too late how critical they are in dealing with the ever-shifting social stresses of modern life

Religious communities remain an integral part of a healthy societyIf any one religious congregation disappeared from your city, would your community and city be better or worse off? There are Canadians who think it would be better if they did disappear, like old relics that have become burdensome, even embarrassing. The think-tank Cardus published the results of research that examined the question through The…

Seniors migration costs B.C. $7.2 billion in health-care expenses

Migrating seniors are likely to have paid most of their lifetime taxes in one province while consuming most of their health care in another

Seniors migration costs B.C. $7.2 billion in health-care expensesBy Ashley Stedman and Jason Clemens The Fraser Institute An imbalance in health-care funding caused by the migration of seniors is penalizing British Columbia’s taxpayers. Canada’s health-care system has lots of problems, including its comparatively high cost, long wait times and middling performance among universal health-care countries. One largely overlooked problem is how Canada’s financing…

Canada’s health-care system fails to account for senior migration

Migrating seniors pay most of their lifetime taxes in one province and then consume most of their health care in another

Canada’s health-care system fails to account for senior migrationBy Ashley Stedman and Jason Clemens The Fraser Institute The recent meeting of G7 health ministers should provide a wake-up call for policy-makers about Canada’s ailing health-care system. Compared to many of our G7 counterparts, Canada’s system is fraught with problems, including comparatively high costs and long wait times. One largely overlooked problem is how…

Canada’s aging population puts a strain on government coffers

More seniors means slower economic growth and more spending on programs like health care. But some careful fiscal management can save us

Canada’s aging population puts a strain on government coffersBy Taylor Jackson, and Jason Clemens The Fraser Institute The latest Finance Department fiscal update signals the federal government’s continued preference for running budget deficits, regardless of the state of the economy. Similarly, eight of 10 Canadian provinces are running budget deficits in 2016-17. The lack of fiscal prudence coast to coast raises serious concerns about…