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Even 4 Hours a Day Won’t Cut It: Why Transforming Long-Term Care Needs to Start with Empathy

June 28 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Societal ageism has led to inadequate systems of care for older Canadians, particularly in long-term care. The COVID-19 pandemic brought these gaps and systemic failures in these systems to the forefront of national attention. Moira Welsh, a distinguished Toronto Star Investigative Reporter, has spent years investigating retirement and long-term care homes, working both to expose the deficiencies in our long-term care systems while also profiling the resilience of older Canadians. These stories are not an account of falls or bedsores or overmedication, but of older adults living with purpose, energy and love. These are powerful stories with the capacity to change perspectives and the status quo.

In the first webinar in the NIA’s new series — Spotlight on Healthy Ageing ¬— Dr. Samir Sinha, the NIA’s Director of Health Policy Research, will dive deep into conversation with Moira Welsh on her new book Happily Ever Older. The book is a warm, inspiring blueprint for change, proof that instead of warehousing older Canadians, we can create a future with strong social connections and a reason to go on living for those who can no longer continue to live in their own homes.

Moira Welsh and Dr. Sinha, who is currently leading the development of new National Long-Term Care Standards, will discuss examples of excellence in long-term care from around the world. This includes models that have yielded positive results, strategies for addressing loneliness among older Canadians, the importance of inclusion and the concept of ‘potential’—the idea that we can constantly thrive and improve no matter what our age or ability, and the right environment can help us to do so.

The discussion will also cover why the current government’s commitment to fund four hours of direct daily care won’t necessarily result in meaningful change that would enable older people to experience fulfilling lives while living in a long-term care home, and what we need to do to address this.