The Excellent Care, Decency, and Optimal Living (ECDOL), a website created to help individuals find the right care for themselves and their loved ones, just publish a recent article and resource and the impact of Covid-19 on the senior population.
Some key findings:
According to the Journal of Aging and Social Policy, by mid-April of 2020, nearly half of the COVID-19 deaths were tied to nursing homes. The high mortality rates were not only the case for public long-term care facilities in the country but also privately owned facilities.
Long-term care homes across the country have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, at the end of May 2020, more than 840 outbreaks and more than 80% of all COVID-19 deaths occurred at a long-term care home.
There was also a significant variation among Canadian provinces and territories. May 25, 2020, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and the territories had no reported deaths in retirement homes and long-term care homes. However, long-term care deaths represented over 70% of all COVID-19 deaths in Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta, and 97% of all deaths in Nova Scotia. As a proportion of COVID-19 cases in Canada, about one in five were among long-term care residents.
Senior housing in Canada includes government-subsidized and long-term care homes and private pay retirement living, generally speaking. The population is aging; the predictions show a need for 240,000 new spaces by 2046, per an article published by the CBC. The growing demand in senior care has created more investors from Canada and the United States because of long waitlists with long-term care homes and government funding, ensuring steady income. The COVID-19 pandemic pointed out that for-profit facilities in Canada and the United States have lower staffing levels, lower quality of care, and poorer resident outcomes, which was pointed out in an article published by Health Services Research and many other journal articles.
According to an article published by Ryerson University, there has been a need for change in Canada’s long-term care system and senior living options for some time. At the time of this article, in July of 2020, over 80% of all COVID-19 deaths were connected to long-term care homes in Canada.
The artcile conculdes that "some of the challenges that face long-term care and senior living in Canada are ward rooms with four people and an over-reliance on nursing homes. It is recommended that more care is provided at home and in the community."