Federal standards, investment urged to fix long-term care system

Immediate improvements for nursing home workforce needed before next crisis hits, says U of A researcher

Federal standards, investment urged to fix long-term care systemCanada needs to take immediate actions to ensure nursing homes are ready for a possible second wave of COVID-19, according to the chair of an expert working group charged with solving Canada’s long-term care collapse. “If we do nothing else, in the short and longer term, the workforce has to be addressed,” said Carole Estabrooks,…

Federal government failed to prepare for pandemic

There’s a difference between what Ottawa says about its preparedness and the reality. The results in the face of COVID-19 could be tragic

Federal government failed to prepare for pandemicPrime Minister Justin Trudeau finally says Canada is moving aggressively to procure diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and the personal protective equipment (masks, face shields, gloves, gowns) that front-line health-care workers require to carry out their duties during a pandemic. Without adequate quantities of those supplies, it’s impossible for doctors to determine who is infected, to…

Physician, heal thyself – or at least your snotty attitude

It's time both doctors and front-line staff began to reflect the kind of compassionate care we deserve and should expect

Physician, heal thyself – or at least your snotty attitudeAn open letter to health-care professionals: Let’s agree that having to see a doctor or being admitted to a hospital is an activity that greatly impacts our overall physical and psychological well-being. Now, let’s pretend that the receptionists and front office staff at a medical clinic are actually a reflection of the kind of care…

Combating the over-medication of seniors

Seniors are particularly vulnerable to the effects of too many prescriptions

Combating the over-medication of seniorsWorking aggressively to reduce their daily medication burden may be the single best thing we can do to improve the quality of life of our aging parents and grandparents. The issue of too much medication in Canadian seniors is finally starting to be recognized as the serious problem it has become. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to…

Early dementia diagnosis helps patients live fuller lives

There comes a moment when the doubt disappears and the panic sets in

Early dementia diagnosis helps patients live fuller livesThere comes a moment when the doubt disappears and the panic sets in. For one retired executive, that moment came in January 2015 while he was driving his car to pick up a book at the library near his home in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, B.C. As he was heading to his destination, he…

Three ways you can help families affected by autism

Small gestures can make all the difference to someone’s day

Three ways you can help families affected by autismAbout one in 68 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (one in 42 boys). ASD often includes those with a wide range of challenges and abilities, including linguistic, social and sensory impairment, along with fine motor and gross…

Nurse practitioners the solution to Canada’s health care woes

So why aren’t we making use of this important human resource?

Nurse practitioners the solution to Canada’s health care woesBy Linda Silas Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions and Ivy Lynn Bourgeault University of Ottawa You can be forgiven if you’ve never heard of nurse practitioners. Most Canadians haven’t – and most don’t know their value to our health-care system. You may be even more surprised to learn that nurse practitioners could be the innovative…

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…

Navigating health and social system a challenge to caregivers

The time it takes caregivers to navigate medical and social care systems may surprise many health policy analysts, but not caregivers

Navigating health and social system a challenge to caregiversBy Amélie Quesnel-Vallée McGill University and Miles Taylor Florida State University The Canadian population is aging. For the first time, Canadians 65 years and over outnumber those 14 years and under. To face this major demographic change head on, we need to adapt. In particular, to meet the preferences of the great majority of Canadians who want…

A common-sense approach to eldercare

Acute Care for Elders (ACE) is designed to treat elderly patients in a way that respects their abilities and limitations, speeds healing and promotes safe discharges home

A common-sense approach to eldercareDr. Samir Sinha is Canada’s guru on aging. We should listen carefully to his ideas because 42 per cent of all hospital patients in our country are over 65 and they account for 60 per cent of all hospital days. Senior patients consume 60 per cent of acute-care budgets and almost half of all health-care…

Caregivers don’t need a pat on the back; they need more support

Governments must begin to accept their responsibility to improve caregivers access to support services and patient care resources

Caregivers don’t need a pat on the back; they need more supportAre you aware of the significant contributions that family caregivers make to society? In 2012, eight million Canadians – 25 per cent of the population! – provided care and 2.2 million Canadians received that care in their homes – most often from family. In 2009, the estimated value of family care was more than $25…

Siblings who become caretakers often lack adequate support

Individuals with developmental disabilities live longer than ever and that means the responsibility for care is shifting to siblings

Siblings who become caretakers often lack adequate supportA combination of better medical care and good lives in the community mean longer life expectancies for individuals with a developmental disability. That’s good news. But many are outliving their parents, who have taken care of them over their lifetimes. Once parents are no longer able to provide the same level of support or care,…

The real costs of informal caregiving in Canada

National strategy needed for unpaid caregivers in the workplace

The real costs of informal caregiving in CanadaOne in every three workers in Canada is assisting a chronically disabled person – many of them seniors – with transportation, household maintenance or day-to-day tasks, according to one report. The 6.1 million employed workers who are providing such care, free of charge, to a family member or friend are more likely to experience interruptions…

The real costs of informal caregiving in Canada

National strategy needed for unpaid caregivers in the workplace

The real costs of informal caregiving in CanadaOne in every three workers in Canada is assisting a chronically disabled person – many of them seniors – with transportation, household maintenance or day-to-day tasks, according to one report. The 6.1 million employed workers who are providing such care, free of charge, to a family member or friend are more likely to experience interruptions…

Families are key members of patients’ hospital care teams

Wards are staffed based on caring for a sick but otherwise self-sufficient patient population. The reality is patients need family caregivers in the hospital

Families are key members of patients’ hospital care teamsFamily care is a key part of hospital care, so let's start talking about it that way. When a loved one is admitted to hospital, family caregivers want to offer comfort and support at the bedside. But in order to perform their healing role, they need to be recognized as key members of the hospital…
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