While Toronto is voting for a new mayor today, I thought I would highlight some issues that are front and centre for me. They don’t appear to be in anyone’s election campaign but regardless, they are very important to those of us are interested in supporting aging Canadians.
- Solo seniors: Women are outliving their male partners and many woman find themselves on their own- by choice or circumstance. There are issues to be addressed regarding: accessibility and affordability for resources, planning- such as care management, access to affordable (shared) housing and caregiving support. I have grave concerns as to who will be these individuals’ caregivers and even greater concern as to who will be their decision makers- should they become incapacitated.
- Dementia: We remain woefully unprepared. Every province in Canada received a failing grade as per CanAGE’s paper (https://www.allaboutestates.ca/time-to-take-our-heads-out-of-the-sand-and-embrace-the-challenges-and-gifts-of-dementia-care/). To help visualize this “massive influx”, our “lack of preparedness” and our lack of prioritizing the issue, the report shares:
- “If the true number of people impacted with Dementia was represented as a country, including those misdiagnosed or currently undiagnosed, that country would be roughly twice the size of Canada’s population”
- In 2020, in Canada there were: 6,491,030 children 17 or younger and there were 2,300 paediatricians = 1 paediatrician for every 2,822 children. In 2020, in Canada there were: 6,835,866 seniors 65+ and only 327 geriatricians = 1 geriatrician for every 20,905 seniors An almost 10-fold difference.
3. Caregiver support: Who is helping the caregivers? Why is there only one province in Canada that offers a caregiving allowance? While we do have some employment insurance benefits, it is not enough.
4. Access to health care- focussing on seniors.
There are many others and I would be interested to know what is at the top of your list.
Just a few things to consider this Monday morning……