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Wake-up call: Retirees are staying in their homes

By Anna Sharratt

Ninety-six per cent of Ontario seniors over age 55 who were surveyed, say that they are currently planning to remain in their own homes for as long as they possibly can. Mary Deanne Shears is one of the ones simply sitting tight. The 77-year-old former journalist thought about downsizing, but during the pandemic she realized the home she once shared with her late husband was where she wanted to be. There’s also a sizeable  financial impact of moving to consider. “I couldn’t easily sell my house and find a condo downtown,” she says. “Everything is so expensive.” Now that Shears has made her decision, she worries about the cost of home care and hopes her savings will carry her through. Shears also claims she’s contemplated taking a reverse mortgage to free up funds in the future.

The reasons for staying are clear. Many older adults have watched with panic as Canada’s LTC residents bore the dreadful brunt of the pandemic. Simply put, the lockdowns have created a good opportunity for many older adults to rethink their futures.

Source: Globe and Mail

Optimistic about future Alzheimer’s research

By Bill Gates

This month marks one year since we lost my dad. My family is slowly learning how to adjust to life without him. I miss him every day. My dad died from Alzheimer’s disease, which means that my family’s grief is far from unique. Today, one out of every nine people aged 65 or older has Alzheimer’s and right now, there’s no way to stop or even slow down the decline.

I’m optimistic about new breakthroughs and one area where we’ve seen recent progress is diagnostics. To find a game-changing treatment, we will need to test many different hypotheses. We need a cheap, non-invasive way to diagnose patients early before their symptoms get too bad.

There are a number of promising tests in the pipeline. I partnered with the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and others to develop a philanthropic fund called the Diagnostics Accelerator several years ago to kick-start new research and many of the award recipients are already making terrific progress.

Some are working on diagnostics that may be available soon, like the simple blood test being developed at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.


Improving Ontario’s long-term care homes

By Donna Duncan

There are “big steps in the right direction” with new legislation introduced by the provincial government to reform the sector. Urgent work must be done to rebuild our long-term care homes, and our workforce, while restoring trust and confidence in LTC. We need to be able to meet the diverse and changing needs and wishes of Ontarians in how they want to live and receive care as they age.

The Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021 is now being considered at third reading in the legislature. We are writing to ask all MPPs to vote “yes” to enact it. Just as LTC leaders and care teams came together through the pandemic to build partnerships across the health system to support our residents, our political representatives must come together to support this foundational legislation that will allow us to better serve Ontario’s seniors today and for generations to come.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating, most especially in long-term care. It is thanks to Ontarians for getting vaccinated, and to the commitment of front-line healthcare workers, that there is only one LTC home in outbreak with resident cases in Ontario.


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