Long-term care must be part of election, says alliance

Canadians concerned about long-term care waits, says group

Written by Angela Walker
Published August 25, 2015 by CBC News

The Canadian Alliance for Long-Term Care is calling on federal politicians to make long-term care a priority.

The alliance wrapped up a national meeting in Charlottetown Tuesday.

The group released a new poll which suggests Canadians are overwhelmingly concerned about the ability of the system to care for seniors when living at home is no longer possible.

Ninety three per cent of those surveyed expressed some concern that patients are waiting too long for placement in a long-term care home.

The poll also suggests 91 per cent are concerned or somewhat concerned about the high level of support needed by seniors diagnosed with dementia, and that that there won't be enough long term-care beds to meet the future needs.

The alliance is a national organization comprised of provincial associations and long term care providers that deliver publicly-funded health care services for seniors across Canada.

The chair of the Canadian Alliance for Long-Term Care, Candace Chartier, said members are frustrated the challenges facing seniors in long-term care have not been given enough attention by the political parties in the federal election campaign.

"One of the findings that was pretty scary was that only two in 10 Canadians have confidence that our long-term care system will be there to care for them in the future," said Chartier.

"It was pretty alarming to the fact that all of the results, when you broke it down province by province, were very similar. If Canadians are so concerned about this then what is happening at the federal level? We are going to call on them to start talking about what's important to Canadians."

Nanos Research was commissioned by the alliance to do the poll, which was conducted between July 18 and 22.

One thousand Canadians were surveyed. The poll is considered accurate to within 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20.