Canada has always been known as a great country to live in for a number of reasons and one being, having free heath care. Although this is a bonus for Canadian citizens, people forget to see the numerous flaws in our system. One great example of an important issue in our Canadian health care system is the lack of care to our seniors. Canada’s baby boomers are reaching the age of retirement, some even older, and are occupying nearly half of the country’s hospitalizations (Stall, Bear, Sullivan, 2013, para. 1). The population of seniors continues to increase making it more difficult to find enough care providers to ensure the needs of Canada’s seniors are met. This concern raises questions as to why there are rapid declines in geriatric medicine studies. In this case, students tend to lean towards other specialties with a higher pay salary, thus resulting in the decline of students entering this field.
Canadians are unconfident that Canada’s health care system will be able to meet the needs of the aging population. Kirkey (2013) explains, “according to the Canadian Medical Association’s annual report card on health, Women, as well as Canadians aged 34 to 54, and those already caring for an elderly person, are among those least confident that hospitals and long-term care facilities can handle the demands of a population that is living longer than at any other time in the nation's history” (para. 3). Although this tends to be an issue all across Canada, smaller communities suffer the most. Small communities generally have one hospital compared to larger cities and are in need of more resources such as nursing care, home-based care and palliative care (Kirkey, 2013).
Over the years, Canadians are living longer and healthier lives, but as the unpredictable population shift, citizens over the age of 65 will double by the year of 2036, outnumbering children. As the number of senior citizens increases, so will the risks of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or dementia, described by the Mental Health Commissions of Canada (2014, para. 2). Providing more long-term care facilities and nursing homes will help the crowding in hospitals as well as lower costs on families and the government. Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, points our that keeping a senior in a hospital bed a day costs around $1,000 while a long-term facility only costs $126, and supportive home care costs $35 to $50 a day (as cited by Kirkey, 2013, para. 14). These numbers prove that the health care system could be saving a large amount of money if more care facilities were provided. Not only should the government invest in more of these home care environment facilities, but also focus on updating and refurbishing the current ones.
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care provide potential solutions by releasing strategies on ways to improve care for the elderly. Student’s that are educated in health, social and community care are...