Health Council of Canada. (2012). Seniors in need, caregivers in distress: What are the home care priorities for seniors in Canada? Retrieved from http://healthcouncilcanada.ca/rpt_det_gen.php?id=348.
“In this report, we focus on the issues and challenges related to home care for seniors and their caregivers in Canada, and the opportunities to improve and integrate the services they need to age well at home.
We begin by looking at the types of clients who are receiving home care, the services they are receiving, and the intensity of their needs. We then look at the characteristics of family caregivers, including the number of hours they spend on care and their level of distress. In particular, our analyses show that many seniors with complex and multiple health needs are receiving limited hours of home care, and as a consequence a considerable number of their family caregivers—many of whom are seniors themselves—are stretched beyond their capacity and report high levels of distress.
We also examine system issues such as the importance of integrating home care with hospitals and primary care, and the challenges facing the home care sector such as the recruitment and retention of personal support workers. We discuss the cost-effectiveness of home care compared to hospital care and long-term care facilities, noting that public spending on long-term care facilities in Canada is much higher than spending on home and community care. We look at the experiences of other countries that spend proportionally more on home care and have implemented strategies to ensure that seniors can remain at home longer with a better quality of life.
Throughout the report, we profile innovative practices that are examples of effective home care policies and programs, and that illustrate how home care can be integrated with other health services and sectors. These practices offer tools and ideas that can be adapted by governments and health systems across Canada.”