February 20, 2022
Honorable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
Government of Canada
Dear Honourable Minister Duclos:
As part of our ongoing commitment to the well-being of seniors, ACER-CART (Association canadienne des enseignantes et des enseignants retraités/Canadian Association of Retired Teachers) reviewed your 2021 mandate letter from the Prime Minister.
Your mandate as Minister of Health includes many items important to the 165,000 individuals who belong to our provincial and territorial associations, as well as to all seniors across Canada.
The members of our Association are particularly concerned about the provision of services to seniors in or near their own homes. The vast majority of seniors wish to remain in their own familiar comfortable homes where they experience better physical, mental, and social health.
Seniors awaiting beds in Long-Term Care Homes, take up costly hospital space. A large portion of health care money is allotted to long-term care homes. At the same time, there is little or no coordinated government supports helping seniors live safely and independently in their own homes.
We encourage you to act quickly to increase support for aging at home initiatives including
- Recognizing that seniors will have varied needs including personal and home assistance.
- Addressing environmental needs such as home modifications and age-friendly communities.
- Providing trained, well paid, and respected caregivers.
- Supporting unpaid caregivers such as family and friends and providing recognition for the work that they do.
The budgets for providing these services would be much more cost-effective than the present emphasis on care homes and hospitalization.
We noted from the Mandate letter that you will be working with the Minister of Seniors to establish an expert panel to provide recommendations for establishing an Aging at Home Benefit. Representing 165,000 seniors across Canada, ACER-CART is well placed to provide input to as well as membership in that panel. We look forward to that opportunity.
cc. ACER-CART Executive
ACER-CART Board of Directors