The Impact of An Aging Canadian Population: KPMG Study

Long-term senior care is not an immediate priority for national agendas and has the potential to overwhelm the healthcare systems of many countries, including Canada, according to KPMG's Global Healthcare Practice Report. The report also shows that diverse approaches are urgently needed to address the pending surge in demand.

An Uncertain Age: Reimagining Long-Term Care in the 21st Century, a report commissioned by the Lien Foundation, a Singapore-based philanthropic organization, and researched by KPMG, reveals that although an aging population has been identified as a key issue worldwide and in Canada, strategies to address it are fragmented and erratic.
Healthcare delivery models need to change, while resource challenges, including low availability of long-term elderly care services and a dwindling healthcare workforce, must be addressed before the healthcare system reaches a critical level, according to the report.
According to the Organizations for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the number of citizens world-wide aged 60 and above will more than double to two billion from 2012 to 2050; however countries aren't moving fast enough to respond to the specialized care needed for an aging population.
The OECD also points out that the number of Canadian seniors ages 65 to 79 is expected to rise from almost 15 per cent in 2009, to more than 25 per cent in 2050 while those 80 years and older will grow from around five per cent to a little over 10 per cent in the same period of time.
"The reality is that while we know the population is aging and will impact on our healthcare system, efforts to address this challenge have been sporadic and insufficient," said Georgina Black, National Health Sector Lead, KPMG. "Now is the time for a national conversation about elder care and to develop new approaches to ensure the growing senior population in Canada receives the treatment, care and attention it needs and deserves."
Healthcare thought leaders surveyed for the report believe new strategies to ensure our healthcare infrastructure can withstand and successfully address the changes are needed.
"Multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary teamwork should form the backbone of the long-term care system," said Dr. Dennis Kodner, International Visiting Fellow, The King's Fund, Canada. "Building the most effective interpersonal and inter-organizational long-term care models among and between professionals, agencies and institutions should be a priority."
The report identifies 10 areas of action to shape a positive future for long-term care:
  1. Deliver person-centered care
  2. Integrate care
  3. Rethink medical care
  4. Look beyond institutional boundaries to the community
  5. Invest in the formal and informal workforce
  6. Embrace technology
  7. Focus on outcomes
  8. Develop better funding models
  9. Carry out more research
  10. Change attitudes to aging
"Long-term care receives little attention and investment in Canada and around the world," said Dr. Wai Chiong Loke, Director, KPMG's Healthcare Advisory for Singapore and Asia-Pacific. "This report shows that improving cultural attitudes and increasing healthcare funding and management will ensure that elderly citizens can and will lead dignified and fulfilling lives."
The time is now for governments to act and implement healthcare reforms and new delivery models to ensure the aging Canadian population receives the proper treatment to live healthier lives.
About the Report
The Lien Foundation commissioned KPMG International to produce An Uncertain Age: Reimagining Long-Term Care in the 21st Century to inform and stimulate the global dialogue in long-term elderly care.
The report includes selected comments and opinions from 46 thought leaders, professionals and practitioners in the aged care sector in selected countries, gained through a series of face-to-face and telephone interviews KPMG conducted between August and September 2012.

on June 25, 2013