Senate report says Canada lags in care of seniors

'Sandwich generation' needs help coping simultaneously with children and aging parents.'

Download Senate Report - Canada's Aging Population: Seizing the OpportunityOttawa (23 April 2009) - Canada lags in coping with the challenges of a rapidly aging population, says the final report by the Special Senate Committee on Aging.

Tabled this week, the report identifies "serious gaps" in health care, transportation, housing and support systems for the ever-rising number of seniors in the Canadian population.

"The Canadian government must be a leader and ... it's doing some of that, but it's also a laggard in its care of seniors," Sharon Carstairs, who chairs the committee, told reporters.

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) sent a letter to the committee when it was holding public hearings last year, urging members to consider the issue of long-term care. NUPGE president James Clancy also provided the committee with a copy of the union's detailed report on the issue, Dignity Denied: Long-term care and Canada's elderly.

The committtee found that some seniors were living in isolation or in inappropriate homes while income security measures were not meeting basic needs of poor seniors.

Support for caregivers was also insufficient, the report said.

The committee called for a "dropout provision" that would permit the "sandwich generation" of Canadians – those trying to cope simultaneously with children and aging parents – to leave the work force for a period of time while continuing to contribute to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). This would be similar to provisions that now exist for child care, it noted.

NUPGE is currently conducting a national survey and project dealing with work-life balance issues, especially as they relate to the 'sandwich generation' cited by the Senate committee. Please check the links below for more information and to participate in the survey.

Download NUPGE report - Dignity Denied: Long-Term Care and Canada's ElderlyNUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

More information:
Download NUPGE report - Dignity Denied: Long-term care and Canada's elderly - pdf
Special Senate Committe on Aging - Final Report - pdf
National Union writes Senate Committee on Aging
The stress of balancing personal life with work life
Participate in NUPGE survey: Quality of Women's Lives


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