I was the principal caregiver to my mother for the final years of her life. For the first ten years, as per her wishes, she lived in her home on the family farm and then in a house I purchased and adapted to live comfortably and safely with me. During these fourteen-plus years, I learned a lot about adjusting my mother's environment to meet her changing needs, including discovering ways to improve her quality of life. I shared our journey in my published memoir entitled 'Lasting Touch.'
Our healthcare system can do much more for all Canadians, regardless of age. Other countries like Poland, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Germany, and Norway have already transitioned to a more holistic approach with great success, spending over 50 percent of their health budgets on home and community care. Danes have also been at the forefront of innovation and creativity to provide dignified health care to the elderly.
A more robust and inclusive approach to home care services is required to address the ageing population's needs while permitting seniors to remain in their chosen homes. For example, with the support of technology, multi-discipline teams could provide home care services and support directly to their residences, at a much lower cost than to hospitals, long-term care institutions and retirement homes, with a much higher quality of life.
Unfortunately, provincial and territorial jurisdictions lag far behind that approach, even though it is very successful in other countries. One can only wonder why governments resist or refuse to take meaningful actions to safeguard their citizens.
Is it too much to ask that Canada learn from others' successes?
'It takes a global village to care for our elders.'
 A Dignified Elderly Care in Denmark -