While On­tar­i­ans pre­pared to go to the polls to elect a new govern­ment, CARP was also mon­i­tor­ing the rest of Canada to see how pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments are do­ing on the key se­niors’ is­sues

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Bri­tish Columbia

The NDP 2018 pro­vin­cial bud­get in­cluded a wel­come in­fu­sion of $548 mil­lion to help bring care lev­els for se­niors up to rec­om­mended lev­els. The govern­ment had lit­tle choice but to in­vest in the long-term care sec­tor af­ter a ground­break­ing study from the Of­fice of the Se­niors Ad­vo­cate that found se­ri­ous prob­lems in the B.C. long-term care sec­tor. Of 22,000 res­i­dents sur­veyed in the report:

62 per cent said they do not get to bathe or shower as of­ten as they want

One in four said they some­times, rarely or never get help to the toi­let when needed

More than one-third re­ported they aren’t con­sis­tently get­ting the help they need at meal­times

Four out of 10 said they do not want to be there

The bud­get money will help bring care lev­els for se­niors up to rec­om­mended lev­els. That means 1,500 new jobs – about 900 care aides, 300 li­cenced prac­ti­cal nurses, 165 reg­is­tered nurses and other health work­ers.


In a move that should give be­lea­guered fam­i­lies more say over the qual­ity of life their loved ones re­ceive in longterm care homes, the Alberta govern­ment has passed the Res­i­dent and Fam­ily Coun­cils Act. The NDP’s new legis- la­tion, which came into ef­fect this April, guar­an­tees res­i­dents and fam­i­lies the rights to es­tab­lish self-gov­ern­ing coun­cils in long-term care fa­cil­i­ties. That means if a home is pro­vid­ing sub­stan­dard food, ser­vices or ac­tiv­i­ties, the law re­quires them to work with fam­ily coun­cil to re­solve any con­cerns. The coun­cils are seen as a way res­i­dents and their fam­i­lies can feel more in­volved and in con­trol of their lives. “As govern­ment, we com­pletely agree that Al­ber­tans should have a voice in these mat­ters,” said Sarah Hoff­man, Alberta’s min­is­ter of health. CARP mem­bers in­ter­ested in setting up a fam­ily or res­i­dent coun­cil can down­load a tool­kit at


While a sur­pris­ingly high num­ber of long-term care res­i­dents in Saskatchewan say they are gen­er­ally satisfied with their home, many ex­pressed con­cern with spe­cific is­sues like un­der­staffed homes, ac­cess to al­ter­na­tive lev­els of care, lack of menu choices and ag­ing in­fra­struc­ture. NDP health critic Danielle Chartier blamed the gov­ern­ing Saskatchewan Party, say­ing that their “cuts have made it im­pos­si­ble to prop­erly staff long-term care fa­cil­i­ties, and both res­i­dents and health-care work­ers are left pay­ing the price.”


While the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive govern­ment’s 2018 bud­get fo­cused heav­ily on tax and spend­ing

cuts, one bright spot for the el­derly or in­firm was the re­duc­tion in am­bu­lance fees, from $425 to $340.


The Lib­eral govern­ment’s 2018 bud­get con­tained sev­eral pos­i­tive changes for in­for­mal care­givers (un­paid fam­ily mem­bers or friends who care for a loved one). The changes in­clude:

re­duc­ing the num­ber of hours of ser­vices that care­givers must pro­vide in order to qual­ify for a tax credit

ex­pand­ing the re­fund­able tax credit for those who ren­o­vate their homes so they can age in place and live in­de­pen­dently

New Brunswick

The Lib­eral govern­ment of New Brunswick used its 2018 bud­get to in­vest $100 mil­lion to ren­o­vate the prov- ince’s care fa­cil­i­ties. This will in­clude the build­ing of 10 new homes around the prov­ince as well as de­vel­op­ing an ad­di­tional 407 beds for peo­ple liv­ing with Alzheimer’s dis­ease and other forms of de­men­tia.

Prince Ed­ward Is­land

The prov­ince’s 2018 Lib­eral bud­get an­nounced mea­sures that should help the 1,000 se­niors and fam­i­lies who are on the wait­ing list for af­ford­able hous­ing. The govern­ment an­nounced it will cre­ate 1,000 new units over the next two years and will also cover ren­o­va­tions to ex­ist­ing units and rent sup­ports.

Nova Sco­tia

Nova Sco­tia continues to lag be­hind prov­inces like B.C. and On­tario when it comes to in­vest­ing money into long-term care. In 2016, the prov­ince chopped one per cent of its long-term care bud­get forc­ing homes to re­duce food pur­chases and staffing lev­els. This prompted Bar­bara Adams, a CARP Nova Sco­tia board mem­ber, to ac­cuse the govern­ment of “at­tempt­ing to balance the bud­get on the backs of frail se­niors in longterm care.” In 2017, the Lib­eral govern­ment promised a new long-term care strat­egy but, as of the March 2018 bud­get, has still not in­creased fund­ing. “How can [Premier Stephen McNeil] jus­tify not open­ing a sin­gle nurs­ing home bed in this bud­get when his fail­ure to in­vest in long-term care has cost our prov­ince over this pe­riod just short of $1 bil­lion?” asked Gary Bur­rill, N.S. NDP leader. McNeil’s Lib­er­als are com­ing un­der fur­ther fire af­ter CBC had to file a free­dom of in­for­ma­tion re­quest to force the govern­ment to re- lease its own re­ports into the wide­spread phys­i­cal, emo­tional and sex­ual abuse that takes place in pro­vin­cial homes. In most other prov­inces, these types of re­ports are re­leased au­to­mat­i­cally.

New­found­land and Labrador

The prov­ince’s Lib­er­als used their 2018 bud­get to fo­cus on home and pal­lia­tive care. This will see more sup­port for peo­ple with de­men­tia, the cre­ation of a prov­ince-wide pal­lia­tive care pro­gram with train­ing for clin­i­cians, ser­vice providers and care­givers and the Home First In­te­grated Net­work, with wrap­around ser­vices for se­niors, and an ex­ten­sion of nurs­ing and other pro­fes­sional ser­vices in the com­mu­nity beyond tra­di­tional work hours.

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