Council of the Federation: Premiers Discuss Seniors Care

Last week, the provincial and territorial premiers traveled to Niagara-on-the-Lake for the 2013 Council of the Federation Summer Meeting. We’ve compiled excerpts from some news releases and articles about the leaders’ discussion on health, seniors care and dementia:

Canada’s Provinces and Territories Realize Real Savings in Healthcare through Collaboration

Council of the Federation News Release July 26, 2013Cof2013ontario

… The [Council of the Federation’s Health Care Innovation Working Group] will look at successful efforts to prioritize homecare over long-term care institutionalization and identify two to three innovative models for provinces and territories to consider adapting. Read more.

CUPE calls for a real continuum of care based on the needs of seniors

CUPE National July 29, 2013 

CUPE is concerned about the either-or approach that provincial and territorial leaders appear to have endorsed at last week’s Council of the Federation meeting. In the post-meeting communiqué, the premiers stated they “will look at successful efforts to prioritize homecare over long-term care institutionalization and identify two to three innovative models for provinces and territories to consider adapting.”

This could mean a plan to shift even more resources out of residential long-term care to fund an expansion of home care. Home care is, and must be, a critical part of our continuum of care, but must come with additional resources, and not at the expense of long-term care. Shifting existing resources around without adding new funding just won’t work. 

Home care will need to be a key element of the continuing care system, but we desperately need public investment in our residential long-term care systems to meet this demographic challenge. Read more.

Premiers seek health-care savings on drugs, senior care

CBC News by Laura Payton July 26, 2013 

Canada’s premiers are aiming for more health-care savings in how the provinces care for seniors, use diagnostic tools and buy brand-name drugs.

The premiers are seeking out bargains and comparing stories so they can save money. Today they’ll discuss the latest in a series of moves to cut costs.

Ghiz and Wall’s working group also looked at the cost of caring for the elderly. Read more.

Provinces announce dementia as a priority health issue 

Alzheimer Society by Jill Baumgartner July 26, 2013 

… In a news release earlier today, [the Council of the Federation] announced that the Premiers had spoken about the importance of dementia.

“As our population ages, it is increasingly becoming an area of concern for provinces and territories. Premiers are determined to increase awareness, address the challenges and provide opportunities to improve early diagnosis and treatment. Premiers directed the Health Care Innovation Working Group to examine issues related to dementia, including identifying best practices for early diagnosis. Central to this is raising awareness of the early warning signs and various methods of intervention.”

This is very exciting news for people living with dementia across Canada. The leadership of Canada’s provincial and territorial premiers are making dementia an important priority issue for the Health Care Innovation Working Group.

Awareness and early diagnosis are both absolutely critical to opening the doors to treatment and support that will enable the 747,000 Canadians currently living with dementia, as well as their caregivers, to live more fulfilling lives and remain independent in their communities and at home longer.

Additionally, this is significant in making sure that our health-care systems are better positioned to respond to the growing needs of people with dementia and their caregivers more effectively. In less than 20 years, an estimated 1.4 million Canadians will have dementia. Today’s announcement is good news. And a positive step in the right direction. Read more.