long-term care

Empowering the elderly in Japan: lessons for home care in Canada

It’s a question that’s been weighing on the minds of health care managers in Canada and many countries around the world: how will society meet the home and community care needs of an aging population? In trying to answer this question, it can be instructive to look at models around the world, and one that’s received

We need a national strategy to support unpaid caregivers

The phenomenon is not exactly marginal: according to a recently released government report, one in every three workers in Canada is assisting a chronically disabled person — many of them seniors — with transportation, household maintenance or day-to-day tasks. The 6.1 million employed workers who are providing such care, free of charge, to a family member or friend

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

Why we need to rethink the nursing home model

Verena Menec healthy debate

How many nursing home beds are needed in Canada to care for frail, elderly people with high care needs? That’s a question that policy makers across the country are grappling with, given the aging population and especially the rapidly growing number of very elderly people over the age of 85. Many people as they age

Gaps in health care for the chronically ill

Kieran Quinn

This is a story about Mr. D, a lovely 85-year-old gentleman who I cared for on our General Internal Medicine service. He suffered significant cognitive impairment due to both dementia and the deposition of protein in his brain caused by chronic inflammation (known as cerebral amyloidosis). He also had advance prostate cancer. As a consequence

Alberta’s innovative approach to paying for long-term care

Alberta’s provincial health authority has recently come under fire by opposition party MLAs and activists alike for closing 77 long-term care beds in Calgary damaged by the June floods. The angry reaction demonstrates the common misperception that a shortage of beds is the major cause of persistent waiting lists for long-term care. Like other provincial

Why do personal items go missing in nursing homes?

Nursing home

I am addressing this letter to all the caretakers and families in Canada who have family members residing in nursing homes. I want to know if the situations that we are encountering are widespread and if there is anything that we can do to change policies and procedures to help alleviate the problem. My mother

Waiting for a nursing home bed while in hospital

Lisa Priest Personal Health Navigator Sunnybrook healthydebate.ca

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 AskLisa@Sunnybrook.ca 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

Bed blocking a problem of equity, not just efficiency

Jeremy Petch Healthy Debate Blogger

One of the big challenges facing modern health care systems is how to reduce delayed discharge from acute hospitals by patients for whom acute care is not longer medically necessary – better known as the problem of bed blockers.  Bed blocking occurs when a patient is ready for discharge, but has to stay in hospital

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

Waiting for long-term care in Ontario

Waiting for long-term care in Ontario

The Ontario Health Quality council reported in 2010 that wait times for a long-term care bed in Ontario have tripled since 2005.   A substantial number of people who are waiting for long-term care – and some who are currently in long-term care – could be cared for at home or in “assisted living” facilities

What is Healthy Debate?

Healthy Debate

Our health and the health of our loved ones is more important to us than almost anything else. We all have stories about how our health care system has provided excellent care, and how it has let us down. Despite the personal and societal importance of health care, it is our belief that many Canadians