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Quebec must develop home care services by better equipping informal caregivers

Montreal, October 13, 2022 – The government of Quebec must allow more seniors to remain in their homes by doing a better job of supporting informal caregivers, shows a new publication released today by the MEI.

The Quebec population is aging faster than the current long-term care residence system can handle, which forces us to consider new ways of doing things, explains Maria Lily Shaw, economist and Associate Researcher at the MEI. “By 2030, nearly 25% of Quebec’s population will be aged 65 and over. Obviously, most seniors prefer to remain at home as they grow older. That’s why the government must expand home care services rather than favour CHSLDs.”

Quebec’s elderly are experiencing difficulty accessing services in CHSLDs. As a result, hospital beds are occupied by seniors waiting for a space to open up in a residence, which puts additional pressure on the province’s health care system. A well-developed home care system assisting informal caregivers would reduce the need to add more places in CHSLDs.

Proposed solutions

The home care network should be seen as a complement to CHSLDs. From this perspective, the MEI’s publication proposes some solutions:

  • A larger proportion of the total budget for elderly care should be dedicated to home care instead of institutions.
  • Given that an estimated 1.5 million informal caregivers in Quebec provide up to 75% of the care required at home for their elderly loved ones, a portion of the funds that would be freed up by the transition to a system that favours home care should be redirected to a training program for informal caregivers.
  • Entrepreneurs in the province need to be given the opportunity to develop new technologies to facilitate seniors’ autonomy within their homes. The network must be quicker to adopt technologies and catch up to the rest of the industrialized world.

“Having access to reliable, high-quality home care can allow seniors to retain control over their daily lives. In addition, living in a familiar environment and maintaining their autonomy can have a positive impact on their sense of well-being and quality of life. It also makes it easier for relatives and friends to visit their loved ones, a privilege that some were refused during the pandemic,” concludes Maria Lily Shaw.

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The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent public policy think tank. Through its publications, media appearances, and advisory services to policy-makers, the MEI stimulates public policy debate and reforms based on sound economics and entrepreneurship.

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Interview requests: Josée Morissette, Senior Advisor, Media Relations / Cell: 418-929-5291 Email: jmorissette@iedm.org

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