Brief introduction of Canadian senior care industry

Canada is one of the earliest country welcomed ageing society all around the world. It’s pension system dated from mid-19th century.

At present, there are 4 programs structuring the sound Canadian pension system.The first program which is called Old Age Security (OAS) provides monthly funding at equal amount to each Canadian senior aged over 65 after meeting the residence requirement. The funding is totally granted by government. The second program is Canada Pension Plan (CPP).Each employee aged 18 and above shall participate this mandatory pension plan no matter how much annual income he/she gets. The funding comes from premium paid monthly by employer and employee plus the investment income earned through insurance fund. The third and fourth programs are Registered Pension Plans(RPPs) and Registered Retirement Saving Plans(RRSPs) that are private owned and can be participated according to personal willingness.Participants also can get tax credits while declaring their annual income. Financially supported by this completed pension system, Canadian seniors are guaranteed to live comfortably and prosperously in retirement.

With relatively perfect senior care policies and endowment insurance system, relevant senior care resources are integrated reasonably. There are diversifed senior care models which can be divided into 3 categories in Canada: Long-term care homes, retirement homes and home care.

Seniors reside in Long-term care homes are basically unable to take care of themselves. Relevant licenses are compulsory in Canada to operate long-term care homes. Fundings, used to pay medical care, meals, entertainment, partial or total accommodation and incidentals, are granted by governmental health department to each long-term care home according to the quantity of licensed beds and care needs of residing seniors. Units are divided into 3 types: Basic unit(2 to 4 share a room), semi private unit and private unit. Physicians, nurses and personal support workers are available on site 24/7. A professional health assessment institute called Community Care Access Center (CCAC) set up by provincial government shall do health nursing assessment for each senior applied to or recommended by physicians to reside in long-term care home. Only qualified seniors can reside in long-term care home.

Retirement homes are applicable to those have higher ability to take care of themselves.Expenses, except for partial medical service fee, shall be paid by resident him/herself. Retirement homes has a variety of types which relflect varying levels of hospitality and care needs, including Senior Apartment, Independent Lving, Assisted Living and Memory care. Some retirement homes focus on only one type, while some bond 2 or more types located in different floors.

Generally, Nursing staff are available on site 24/7 in retirement homes. Physicians can delivery door-to-door medical treatment as well. Each unit has a private barthroom with shower and equipped with nursing call bell system. Amenities including gym, entertainment room, library, private meeting room and private dining room are universal in retirement homes. Even swimming pool can easily be fund in some high-end retirement homes. A standard retirement home usually has such departments as nursing department, lifestyles department, food and beverage department, environmental management department, marketing department, executive director and office.

 Home care is a prevailing senior care model in Canada. Services include personal and medical care ( bathing,dressing change, blood pressure measuring, blood glucose monitoring, etc.), companionship, preparing and serving meals, housekeeping, shopping and so on. Care workers and personal support workers shall take prefessional trainings until they are qualified to provide door-to-door care services. Home care receivers shall also be assessed by CCAC. Only qualified care receivers are granted subsidy on hously basis.

In Canada,senior care pratitioners shall take professional training and hold practising certificate before involved in long-term care homes, retirement homes or home care.For example, nursing staff need to have a current degree or diploma as an Registered Nurse or Registered Practical Nurse, personal support worker needs a PSW certificate, chef needs a certificate of cook  and the same to nutritionist and therapist. Except for practising certificate, all pratitioners must pass the non-criminal investigation no matter you are managers or general staff.

Canada has a sound law system regarding to senior care industry. In each province and territory there are laws and regulations enacted to regulate senior care facilities and services in terms of licensing requirements, planning and construction standards, care standard, staff training, rights of seniors, nutrition, inspections, offences, penalties, etc. Inspectors hired by government would do random on-site inspections. Any violation to the laws and regulations would result in order of ractification or business termination.

Through one and a half century of develpment, Canada established quite perfect social service system and mature industry planning regarding to senior care that promote Canada as a worldwide leader in such fields as elderly social welfare system, development and management of elderly institutions, elderly care service and technology, elderly medication and healthcare as well as medical equipment design and manufacture.


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