Who will care for Canada’s elderly? Compared to past generations, there are fewer children to care for aging parents. Long-term care facilities can help, but we will need more of them to keep up with the growing numbers of elderly Canadians. They are also expensive; when clients cannot afford to pay, government will have to step in to cover the cost. Another concern is that Canada may not be graduating enough medical specialists to keep up with the forecasted demographic shift. The number of nurses, family doctors and geriatricians may not be rising in a sufficient manner to care for our aging population.
This is a pressing question today because the Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1965) have started to retire. In less than 20 years, all will be retired. Within that timeframe, seniors aged 65 and older will outnumber children under 15.1
With retirees soon outnumbering children, we can no longer dodge the question of who will care for our seniors in their old age.
- Students should strongly consider options in the healthcare field
- Medical and nursing schools must ensure that every graduate, regardless of specialty, receives as much formal training in the care of the elderly as possible
- Medical and nursing schools must regularly adjust enrolment levels to meet the growing demand for their graduates
- Governments should increase funding of homecare options to allow seniors to stay in their own homes as long as possible
- Governments should increase financial support for family caregivers beyond the current six-week allowance under federal law; this might include extending income sharing to include those looking after aging parents
Read a short summary of the report here
Download the full report below