August 19, 2014 7:24 am

Baby boomers calling for national seniors care strategy

Watch above: older Canadians concerned about the future of quality of health care

SASKATOON – There are growing concerns among baby boomers and the quality of care they’ll receive later on in life.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) released it’s annual report card on Monday, reflecting overwhelming support for a national seniors care strategy.

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Maxine Glatt, 52, who works with seniors every day says she agrees that something needs to be done on a national level to addressing growing pressures on the province to meet the needs of seniors.

“There’s definitely something missing between the assisted living and the long-term care, we need something there…private care homes aren’t enough any more,” said Glatt.

Working with the elderly at Preston Park II, Glatt says the thought of her quality of care when she ages is never far away. According to the latest report card issued by the CMA, Glatt is not alone.

“Baby boomers in general are concerned that the health care system is going to be unable to meet their needs especially in the future.” said CMA president Dr. Louis Francescutti.

In July, 1,000 Canadians 45 years of age or older participated in an Ipsos Reid survey which found 81 per cent of older Canadians are concerned about the quality of health care they can expect in the future and 78 percent admitting they are worried about their access to high-quality long-term care.

“You can’t get in, you’re in the hospital waiting forever till you find the place  and it could be any where in the province whether your kids are there or not,” said Glatt.

The province says it’s fully aware of the concerns.

“We recently had a stakeholder engagement session where a number of individuals from throughout the province including seniors attended and talked about things such as current services and some the emerging needs so we’re quite aware and are doing a lot of planning to ensure that services are in place.” explained Linda Restau, director of continuing care and rehabilitation for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health.

Of those surveyed, 95 per cent supported the need for a national strategy for seniors health care, a call the federal health minister was open to.

“A lot of provinces see that as their jurisdiction what I’m trying to impart to them is there are provinces that are doing great work, there are others that could learning from them so let’s get together and at the very least share best practices across the country and work together,” said Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose.

According to the CMA, it’s estimated the country could save $2 billion by developing a proper strategy around senior health care issues.

The full report can be found at the CMA.

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