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18
Senior care addressed by world experts
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Senior care addressed by world experts

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Senior care is a leading priority in Canada according to a conference on long-term care held last month in Toronto.

Speaking from the Toronto Congress Centre, Peggie Pelosi, Founder and CEO of ORENDA, confirms, “Baby Boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day. Millennials will constitute 75 per cent of the work force by 2025.”

Held April 10 and 11, the 24th annual conference by the Ontario Long-Term Care Association was attended by health care professionals from around the world including a delegation from Gibson Family Health Care.

The health care professionals were told to prepare for an influx of seniors and a corresponding high demand on programs and services.

“34,000 people are waiting for long-term care,” confirms Dr. Helena Jaczek, Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (LTC). “By 2040, we will have four times the individuals over 90 than we have now.”

According to the minister, people are living longer and require more complex care.

To address this trend, the Ontario Government has allocated funding for 30,000 new LTC beds in the next provincial budget. Currently, more than 80,000 people are in LTC.

“With this additional funding, we can do better,” says Dr. Jaczek.

Speaking after the minister, Canadian artist Jann Arden shared her personal story about dementia. According to her, 564,000 people in Canada have dementia including her mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s.


 

“I think every human life is trying to make the best of what we’ve been given,” she admits. “My biggest regret looking back now is my inability to help my mom. She was an incredible person. And to see her fall prey to a memory loss disease is unbelievable.”

Smiling through her tears, Jann notes, “In the fight against Alzheimer’s, you’re not going to win. The question is, how you are going to live with it?”

Jann describes her family’s answer to that question with humour and compassion; a journey filled with highs and lows as they tried to manage her mother’s disease before moving her to a long-term care home in Alberta.

“I can’t tell you all enough hove grateful I am for you,” she told the crowd of LTC workers. “I have a profound respect for your ability to care for, and love, someone else’s loved one.”

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