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CMA report suggests future seniors’ care a cause for anxiety, calls for action from Ottawa

August 22, 2013

A recent survey by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) suggests that there is anxiety among Canadians when it comes to the future delivery of health care services for seniors.

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The study, conducted by polling firm Ipsos Reid for the CMA’s 2013 National Report Card on health issues, indicate:

  • 83 per cent of participants said they are concerned about the healthcare they will receive when they retire and whether they will have access
    to home care and long-term care.
  • 93 per cent of Canadians that participated in the survey agreed that Canada needs a strategy for seniors’ care in order to keep them in their homes longer and lessen the burden on hospitals and other facilities.

“The anxiety Canadians have about health care in their so-called golden years is both real and well founded,” stated CMA President Dr. Anna Reid. “Let there be no doubt that a national strategy for seniors’ health care should be a federal priority.”

The poll, which surveyed 1,000 Canadians, suggests that those most concerned about the care of seniors, both now and in the future, were women between the ages of 35 and 54, and those already caring for an elderly person outside their own home.

From a mental health perspective, CMHA Ontario has indicated that mental health services and supports are becoming a greater priority as society ages.

While many seniors lead fulfilling lives without significant physical or cognitive changes, the challenges that come with aging can be debilitating. Physical ailments, mobility issues, chronic pain, cognitive and sensory impairments can affect one’s functional ability.

Other challenges such as retirement, changes in income, widowhood, the loss of friendships through death, and new caregiving responsibilities can lead to social and emotional isolation. Research indicates that promoting and maintaining mental health among seniors has a positive impact on their overall health and well-being and significantly affects quality of life.

Read the CMA’s 2013 National Report Card.

Read CMHA’s ongoing work about mental health and seniors .

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