WE CAN LEARN FROM OTHERS
Hi Fellow Seniors: Senior’s care is always a formidable challenge wherever it happens. Each Province and each Country has their own way of dealing with the ever increasing numbers of seniors who require care. Seniors 65 and older are the fastest growing age group in Ontario. In 2016 16.4% of Ontario’s population was 65 years or older. By 2041 it is projected that 25% of Ontario’s population will be 65 years or older almost doubling from 3 million in 3026 to 4.6 million.
You may be interested to know that living arrangements breakdown as follows for those 65 and older: 63% are living in private households
Most (63%) of these living with partners or spouses 23.5% live alone 11% live with other relatives l.9% live with non-relatives (nursing homes etc.)
According to Tammy Leach, CEO Alberta Continuing Care Association, “Alberta has developed a new diverse way of providing for seniors. Historically, more than 60 per cent of Alberta’s continuing care services have been provided by non-profit, faith-based and independent providers. They work tirelessly to provide a comfortable home to thousands of Albertans and make significant financial investments into operations, contributing efficiencies that help lead to a sustainable industry. “(Calgary Herald)
BUT NOW - “Through previous collaborative partnerships between these providers and the government, continuing care bed capacity has increased, with the costs of construction shared between operators and government, as opposed to the entire cost being paid by the public dollars.”
“The Alberta Supportive Living initiative was a program set up by the former government, wherein the province provided up to a maximum of 50 percent of the construction costs to non-profit, faith-based and independent organizations selected through a comprehensive review process to build and operate new care centres throughout Alberta.”
“In 2014-16 successful proponents were awarded an average of $65,000 per unit – with many units constructed at costs much less than the 50 percent maximum contribution – to build 2,458 new continuing care spaces. All of the units were constructed to meet or exceed the relevant provincial building standards. Through the expertise, innovation and creativity of these organizations, many of the projects have already opened or are nearing completion.”
The need for continuing care housing will always be a problem but perhaps if the government and independent organizations work together it can help bring down the costs to the public.
Dorothy Wilson is a freelance writer specializing in senior’s issues. Comments are welcome by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing c/o St.Thomas TimesJournal, 16 Hincks Street, St.Thomas, On.