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Peter Watts: Home care a growing concern

File photo taken at a Moncton special care home.
File photo taken at a Moncton special care home. Shelley Steeves/Global News

We’ve all seen the statistics about Canada’s population. There are more Canadians over the age of 65 than there are under the age of 14. Dealing with that and what it means is one of the great challenges facing Canada’s politicians.

“Nurses are witnessing first-hand how Canada’s aging population is leading to increased demand and an overloaded system,” says Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU). “We need a safe-at-home policy and more nurses providing care to address the risks both patients and nurses are facing every day.

“Nurse-led, community-based care has the potential to actually save money and result in better outcomes for patients.”

Here in Alberta, the overwhelming reaction by seniors is to live at home for as long as possible.

As home care expands, it will need more nurses to provide a good level of care. Whether staffing needs will prove to be more or less expensive than institutional care remains to be seen.

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At the end of the day though, if home care provides a good level of physical and emotional support for an individual, that may be the bottom line.  We should never lose track of the bottom line.