Currently, there are about 470,000 seniors over the age of 65 in Alberta with the number expected to grow to 804,000 in 2025 and 1.13 million in 2035. The number of seniors over the age of 75 is 201,000. Alberta Health Services (AHS) estimates 12% of them need some level of seniors' care which would mean the requirement of 24,000 beds for this age group alone, let alone anyone under 75 requiring care. There are currently 22,867 continuing care beds in the province - not enough for the current demand, let alone the inevitable increase in the very near future.
Time and again we hear stories of seniors occupying acute care spaces in hospitals, but, looking at the numbers, where else can they go?
That is why continuing care must be made a priority. Today.
Continuing care is a system of service delivery, which provides individuals who have health conditions or disabilities with access to services they need to experience independence and quality living. These services include professional services, personal care services and a range of other services. They may be provided for a short term or a long term. Usually these services are provided in long term care centres or in the home. There is an increasing trend toward providing services in a variety of settings.
Continuing care services are provided in three streams. Each stream of care can provide clients with a broad range of health and personal care, accommodation and hospitality services.