August 20, 2014

CARP talks Health Care Transformation with Ontarioís new Deputy Minister of Health
A meeting with healthcare heavyweight Bob Bell

CARP met with Ontarioís new Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Bob Bell, on July 25, 2014 and introduced him CARPís healthcare advocacy. CARP emphasized the importance of shifting care from institutions to homes and communities. Not only do Ontarians want to receive care at home but it would also result in cost savings for the health care system, since home and community-based care costs a fraction of long-term care homes and hospitals. Read more

Update on the Joint Canadian Medical Association-CARP Seniors Care Challenge
Full recap and outcomes: responses, news releases and media coverage

Leading up to the June 30, 2014 by-elections, CARP and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) partnered together on a Seniors Care Challenge. The challenge asked all candidates in the four by-elections, the Ontario ridings of Trinity-Spadina and Scarborough-Agincourt and the Alberta ridings of MacLeod and Fort McMurray-Athabasca, to endorse or reject 12 specific elements of a pan-Canadian seniors strategy. Read more

Fight Seniorsí Poverty, Eliminate RRIFs, Create Jobs for Older Workers and Better Pensions in Federal Budget
CARP's Pre-Budget Submission Press Release

In its pre-budget submission filed today, CARP calls on the federal government to fight seniorsí poverty with increased income supports, relaxed GIS rules and specific measures to counteract the OAS changes for the most needy. To help people help themselves, CARP is calling for help for older workers and elimination of mandatory RRIF withdrawals which put retirees at risk of outliving their savings. Read more

Focus: The struggles of being a senior in Surrey
CARP Chapters in the News

A senior walked into the Surrey Food Bank some time ago with a story that brought the executive director to tears. The woman's husband had become extremely ill and was put into long-term care. After paying for her rent, basic necessities and her husband's care, there was very little left over. She was going without food. "She's an example of people you don't think need the food bank," said executive director Marilyn Herrmann. "After 14 years in food-banking, I think I've heard every story and that was one I'd never thought about. Read more

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Budget 2015: Recommendations to the Department of Finance
CARP's Federal Pre-Budget Submission

Inadequate retirement savings, precarious late-career employment, and poor investor protection combine to make it difficult for many Canadians to achieve and sustain retirement income security. Nearly 6 percent of seniors still live in poverty, amounting to almost 300,000 people. One in six single seniors, most of whom are women, lives in poverty. Twelve million working Canadians do not have workplace pension plans and Canadians are increasingly unable to save sufficiently for their own retirement. The 2015 budget is an opportunity for the federal government to help older Canadians achieve financial security and prepare for retirement. Read more

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CARP Council of the Federation Poll
1. The Council of the Federation, premiers of the provinces and territories but not the Prime Minister, will be meeting in PEI at the end of August. As far as you are concerned, what is the most pressing issue they need to deal with?

National universal pharmacare plan

National standards for health care

Job training

Enhancing CPP/Creating provincial plan

National seniors health care strategy

Replacing OAS for those who cannot wait until age 67 under new rules

Senate reform

Enacting PRPP legislation

Dementia care strategy


2. Two years ago, the federal government abandoned its role in setting and funding national health care standards and priorities leaving it solely to the provinces to manage within capped funding. How has this arrangement worked over the past two years?

Worked very well

Worked well

Hasnít worked so well

Hasnít worked well at all


3. Do you agree or disagree the provinces will work together to set national standards and priorities for health care without the participation of the federal government?

Agree strongly



Disagree strongly


4. The premiers created the Health Care Innovation Working Group in 2012. One suggestion was to share ideas on moving seniors out of hospital beds and into their homes. How is this best achieved?

More funding for homecare

House calls by doctors/nurse practitioners

Empower nurse practitioners to do more

Build more care facilities/beds

National wait times guarantees

Build awareness of high cost of long-term care beds

More social/low income /age-appropriate housing

Better coordination between hospitals and home support programs


5. How would you describe access to home care and community based care in your province?

Improving rapidly


Incrementally improving

No change


6. Another suggestion was to reduce generic drug prices through common price setting. To date, the provinces have reduced the cost of 10 common generic drugs, for savings of $150 million across all participating drug plans. How would you describe this progress?

Great deal of money saved, very effective

Money saved, effective

Not that much money saved, not that effective

This is just a drop in the bucket, must cover cost of branded drugs too


7. How important is it that the premiers work together to create a national pharmacare plan under which all Canadians are covered, likely income tested, regardless of age to provide equal access across Canada?

Extremely important

Very important


Not important

Not at all important


8. How important is it that the premiers work together to improve end of life care, including providing comprehensive palliative care, setting standards for living wills/advanced directives, and giving patients more control at end of life?

Extremely important

Very important


Not important

Not at all important


9. Last year the premiers expanded the mandate of the Health Care Innovation Working Group to include seniors care, focusing on aging in place and dementia care. Is this initiative best carried out by the provinces working together in their own interests, or by the federal government taking the lead and setting a national strategy for seniors?

Provinces working together in their own interests

Federal government sets a national seniors strategy




10. Are you confident or not confident that progress will be made nationally to provide support for dementia sufferers, their families and caregivers?

Very confident

Somewhat confident

Not very confident

Not at all confident


11. What is your reaction to premiersí conferences?

Pointless without the Prime Minister

Photo op for premiers

Most important meeting in Canada

Much promised/little achieved

Best forum to discuss health care reform

Finance ministersí conferences more useful

Best forum to discuss pension reform


12. What would be the most important outcome of the premiersí conference in PEI?

Agreement to bring down branded drug costs

Agreement to further bring down generic drug costs only

National Seniors Care Strategy with national standards, equal access to address specific needs of seniors especially home care and dementia

Agreement to fund more dementia research

Agreement to fund more home care

Agreement to reallocate funding from institutional care to community and home based care

Agreement to fund training and support for healthcare workers to deal with dementia

Demand more federal funding

Demand federal government re-take leadership role in setting and funding healthcare priorities


13. If a federal election were held tomorrow, which partyís candidate would you support?




Green Party

Bloc Quebecois



14. Where do you live?


Nova Scotia


New Brunswick







14. What is your gender?



Previous Issues/Archives
July 31st, 2014
July 15th, 2014
June 27th, 2014
June 6th, 2014
May 16th, 2014
May 2, 2014
April 18th, 2014

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Wandering can be Deadly: Family Says that this was the First Time the 83-year-old Woman had Wondered off in the Night
Resources and Tips to Help Keep your Loved Ones Safe

Following a tragic hit and run accident that took place Wednesday August 6th in the evening, CBC news published an article urging caregivers to take precautions and CARP has created a list of resources help with that objective. A Canadian family is grieving after an 83-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimerís disease was struck and killed by a vehicle on Highway 400 in the Toronto-area. The driver has turned himself in to the police and is now being charged, but that will not bring Chandrowci Basdeo ó who was in the early stages of Alzheimerís disease ó back to her family. The womanís family said it was the first time she had wandered away from the home, which is located about 4 kilometres from Highway 400. Read more

Star Gazer
The Middle-Aged Guide to Growing Up

Iím a boomer, born the year On The Waterfront won the Oscar for Best Picture (and Best Actor for Marlon Brando, Best Director for Elia Kazan, Best Supporting Actress for Eva Marie Saint and Best Screenplay for Budd Schulberg). These are all artists I admire (worship?), mostly for their integrity. It must have been a good year for film, and I hope some of it rubbed off on me.

Iíve been an actor most of my adult life (along with all the other jobs Iíve done), and Iíve had my share of run-ins with other artists of the stage, screen and TV. Read more

Physician-assisted death and euthanasia in Canada
A great overview of the important events and opinions surrounding the Canadian assisted suicide debate

When Canadians saw the video from Donald Low pleading for physician-assisted death, it sparked a nationwide conversation on the issue. The public had grown used to seeing Mount Sinai Hospitalís microbiologist-in-chief at press conferences, poised and explaining how Toronto was battling the SARS outbreak.

But in this video, he is terminally ill with a brain tumour. Almost deaf and with one eye closed, he talks calmly about his own, imminent death. ďWhat the end is going to look like, thatís whatís bothering me the most,Ē he says. Read more

Why Canadian Medicare should Neither ĎGo Dutchí or ĎGo to the Dogsí
Ask the Doctor

The title of this article was taken from a very interesting article I came across in one of the medical newspapers I subscribe to. It is in regards to a topic that is much larger than pain and that is relevant to all of us Canadians. It was written by Dr. Ryan Meili, MD, who is also an expert advisor with and the author of A Healthy Society. In his article, Dr. Meili discusses two different points of view. The first is expressed in a book titled ďLucky DogĒ by Sara Boston, a veterinary oncologist who details her poor personal experience with the Canadian health care system when she got thyroid cancer. Ms. Boston makes the statement that Canadian dogs often have better access to health care than their human counterparts. Read more

Not Just a Bed Ė A Home
The question policy-makers should be asking is really quite simple: would I want to live here?

As we age and become more fragile, our needs can become too great to stay where we would prefer to be Ė in our own homes. Acute care hospitals must confront the problem every day of discharging elderly patients who are no longer able to stay in an unsupported environment. Often, the only solution is a cold, hospital-like environment where residents occupy ďbedsĒ. Read more

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