Senior Care Prism logo

Alarming new report on COVID-19 deaths in long-term care reinforces CanAge’s calls for change

March 31, 2021

CIHI (Canadian Institute for Health Information) and the National Institute on Ageing (NIA) have released an urgent new report detailing the fatal impact of the first and second waves of COVID-19 on seniors in Canadian long-term care homes. The report, entitled ‘The Impact of COVID-19 on Long-Term Care in Canada: Focus on the First 6 Months’ presents new data measuring Canada’s response in protecting vulnerable residents in nursing homes, as well as a comparison to that of other countries across the globe.

Among the findings is sobering evidence that Canada has suffered a shockingly higher proportion of deaths in long-term care (69%) than the international average (41%)—a reaffirming validation of the urgent calls for change put forth in CanAge’s policy roadmap, ‘VOICES: A Roadmap to an Age-Inclusive Canada.’

Alarmingly, the report points to the second wave taking an even harsher toll than the first, leaving us extremely worried about the potentially disastrous ramifications of the imminent third wave that has already started across the country.

“The findings in the new report are alarming but, unfortunately, not surprising,” says Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge. “We’ve been making strong recommendations to governments across the country for systemic change to prevent further loss of life among our most vulnerable older population in long-term care since the onset of the pandemic.” She goes on to warn that, “This is just one more piece of evidence on a long list that confirms the need for governments to take immediate action as we enter the third wave of COVID-19.”