June 2, 2020 — While Canada has invested in residential long-term care at similar levels to other countries, it has drastically under-invested in home and community-based care, according to the C.D. Howe Institute’s Crisis Working Group on Public Health and Emergency Measures. Long-term care and retirement homes are the center of the epidemic in Canada, with about 80 percent of COVID deaths having occurred in residential care facilities — a death rate much higher than most other nations.
Because a high proportion of seniors in Canada live in an institutional care setting, they are at a much higher risk of exposure, infection and death from COVID-19 than seniors living in the community or in the home. While there is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution to improving the safety of residential care, some common factors should be addressed over the long-term: the dependence on part-time and contract workers, consistent underfunding relative to hospitals, lower wage rates, among others.
For more information, please contact: Rosalie Wyonch, Policy Analyst, C.D. Howe Institute; Laura Bouchard, Communications Manager, C.D. Howe Institute: Phone: 416 865-9935