In the next 20 years, Canada’s population aged 75 and older is expected to double in size. As the population of older adults grows, so too will the demand for care in institutions, as well as at home ─ where over 90 per cent of Canadians have stated they prefer to age.
But the share of funding governments spend on institutional care continues to be much higher than that spent on home care. The bulk of home care support is provided informally by relatives.
Despite years of gradual increases in public spending on home care, why is the transition to more home care services so slow, and is this contributing to increasing rates of caregiver burnout? What can be done to improve and accelerate access to publicly funded home care options?
On November 16 we held a discussion on expanding home care options in Canada, with experts Christine Kelly, associate professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba; Deborah Simon, CEO, Ontario Community Support Association; and Patrik Marier, professor, Department of Political Science, Concordia University. The event was led by IRPP Research Director Colin Busby, as part of the Faces of Aging research program.
Christine Kelly is internationally recognized for her expertise on directly funded home care programs in Canada and is presently leading a CIHR-funded study on this topic. She has worked as an expert witness and consultant on human rights cases related to home care and disability supports.
Patrik Marier’s research focuses on the impact of aging populations on several public policy fields including pensions, healthcare, and labour policy. He is currently the lead researcher for the VIES team and was until recently the scientific director of CREGÉS, a university research centre devoted to the field of social gerontology.
Deborah Simon is a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Arts from York University and an MBA from Athabasca University. Her role as OCSA CEO draws on decades of clinical, administrative, government relations and leadership experience.
Colin Busby is a research director at the IRPP. Prior to this, he was the associate director of research at the C.D. Howe Institute. He has also worked at Industry Canada and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. While he writes broadly on economic issues, his emphasis is on fiscal and social policy.