Community & Long-Term Care

Improving appropriateness of antipsychotic use in long-term care

Antipsychotic use in LTC

When prescribed appropriately – to treat psychosis related to a psychiatric condition like schizophrenia – antipsychotic medications can improve a patient’s quality of life. However, too often it appears antipsychotics are being prescribed to residents of Long-Term Care Homes (LTCH) to control behavioral symptoms of dementia (such as verbal or physical aggression) without a concurrent

Ontario families struggle to find services for children with autism

Autism services

Linda Cheung, a mother of two children with autism in Toronto, counts herself lucky. When her now-teenage sons were diagnosed with autism, there were virtually no wait lists for some autism services. But her family still struggles at times to access the services they need, and sometimes pays out of pocket for these services while

Caring for Canada’s seniors will take our entire health care workforce

Much of the focus on the health care needs of Canada’s aging population surrounds the shortage of physicians with expertise in care of older adults. But the country’s 75,000 licensed physicians represent only a small part of the Canadian health care workforce. By contrast, there are approximately 360,000 regulated nurses, 35,000 social workers, 30,000 pharmacists,

Who will care for Canada’s seniors?

Our health care system faces a disturbing paradox. While seniors represent the fastest growing age group in Canada, the country faces a growing deficiency of specialist physicians with expertise in caring for the elderly. But with seniors accounting for nearly half of all the country’s hospitalizations and visiting their family physician twice as often as younger

Waiting for a nursing home bed while in hospital

Lisa Priest Personal Health Navigator Sunnybrook

The Personal Health Navigator is available to all Canadian patients. Questions about your doctor, hospital or how to navigate the health care system can be sent to The Question: My Mother has been in hospital for the last five weeks after a sudden deterioration. She is not able to go home and needs 24-hour care. It

There are hidden costs of moving care out of hospitals

There are hidden costs of moving care out of hospitals

Connie’s story Connie is a Personal Support Worker (PSW) who cares for seniors and people with dementia in their homes. She is a graduate of George Brown College’s PSW program and has been working in home care for the last 10 years. She makes $16 per hour, but rarely gets paid for more than four

Supporting Ontario’s unpaid caregivers

Supporting Ontario's unpaid caregivers

Anne Harrison lives in Huron County with her husband.  For nearly two and half years, her husband was medicated for anxiety and stress he was experiencing at work.  The medication didn’t help.  They didn’t know what was wrong, and worried he might have a brain tumor. In June of 2011, her local family health team,

The next challenges for primary care in Ontario

The next challenges for primary care in Ontario

Over the last year, reports have suggested some of Ontario’s new primary care models, which are significantly more expensive than older practice models, have had limited success in improving access and quality. In response, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care is conducting a review of these models, and had recently instituted a temporary

Improving quality and safety in Ontario’s nursing homes

Nursing home

Recent media reports have highlighted the problem of neglect in nursing homes. Reports from the long-term care sector, in response, have focused on how the quality of care in nursing homes could be improved. However, measuring the quality of nursing home care can be a challenge. Rob Sargeant is a general internist at St. Michael’s

Lower pay hampers nurse practitioner recruitment in primary care

Nurse practitioners are a key plank of government efforts to improve access to primary care. However, a continuing gap in pay and benefits for nurse practitioners who choose to work in primary care compared to those who work in hospitals, limits recruitment and retention to community settings. From a zippy online campaign to an economist-authored

Are Ontario’s primary care models delivering on their promises?

family doctor Ontario FHT family health team health care policy primary care

In the last decade, efforts to improve access to primary care in Ontario have led to major changes to how family doctors practice and are paid.  A recent report suggests that these newer models of primary care are not meeting the needs of vulnerable populations, and that Community Health Centres (an older model of care) do