Tidal wave coming to Canadian homecare

On May 16th and 17th, we attended a conference entitled "Innovations in Home Care: A Public Policy Perspective" at Segal Centre, SFU Vancouver Campus. There were some very knowledgable and experienced healthcare professionals at the conference, many of whom drew on some very interesting statistics to support the various themes and concepts related to homecare.

Probably one of the most compelling metrics shared with the attendees was the number 2.

It's the factor by which Canadians deaths will grow in the next 10-20 years. This was shared by Donna Wilson, a professor at the Faculty of Nursing at University of Alberta, and while the timeframe is loose, the potential impact of this can't be ignored.

We can be sure that in 10-20 years, the Canadian population won't double, and we can be pretty sure that the number of healthcare workers pursuing homecare positions won't double either. (I think we can also safely say that the Canadian violent crime rate or vehicular homicide rate won't double either.)

All of this points to one thing - we will be losing the baby boomer generation in the same manner in which they were welcomed into the world...in large numbers. And we most likely will be under-prepared to help them age in place in a consistent manner.

Due to the growing awareness of and support for home healthcare - thanks in no small part to conferences like this - we can at least say that society will not be unprepared. But as the numbers were shared by Donna's counterparts from such organizations as the Greater Vancouver Community Services Society and West Coast Domestic Workers Association, it became quite clear that the federal and provincial governments could be doing more to ensure community health workers participating in the homecare sector - particularly in government-supported temporary foreign worker programs - are treated fairly and provided progressive career paths within this growing sector.

Do you have any thoughts about the possible labour crunch in this very important and growing part of the healthcare system?