StatCan Research Beat: Home care use in Canada

Catalogue number: Catalogue number: 89-20-0004

Issue number: 2018001

Release date: December 12, 2018

StatCan Research Beat – Home care use in Canada - Transcript

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Did you know that, over a 12 month period, close to a million Canadians used home care services, and that according to demographic projections, this is expected to rise? I’m Heather Gilmour. In this episode of the Statcan Research Beat, we are going to look at some recent research done here at Statistics Canada on home care services: what are they? Who uses them?

(Text on screen below presenter: "Heather Gilmour, Senior Research Analyst.")

How are they paid for? Are needs being met? To answer these questions, we looked at data from the Canadian Community Health Surveys. But first, let’s define what we are talking about. Home care services are health care and support services provided to people in their own home. Not at the hospital. Not in long-term care facilities. These are services delivered by health care providers, personal service workers or volunteer agencies. Not by family, friends or neighbours. Such services might be needed on a short-term basis, such as after a surgery, or on a long-term basis because of a disability, chronic condition, or problems associated with aging. Over 2015 to 2016, an estimated 919,000 adults used home care services. Fifty-six percent were 65 years old or older. The increasing population of older people is one factor that will continue to affect demand for home care. Women, people living alone, those with lower incomes, with a regular doctor or in poor health were more likely to have received home care. The costs of hospital services or visits to your doctor are typically covered across the country under the Canada Health Act. Home care services are different. Depending on where you live, the type and amount of publicly-funded home care services available will vary. People may also seek home care services through private or volunteer organizations. Just over half of households reported that their home care costs were completely covered by government sources. A quarter reported that they paid for all their services out-of-pocket. An estimated 1.2 million Canadian adults had home care needs. Of these, two-thirds felt their needs were met. A quarter felt that their needs were partially met, and one tenth felt that their needs were not met at all. This was especially true for adults aged 35 to 49. When people had unmet home care needs it was mostly because the services were not available. Other reasons were more personal: they didn’t know where to go, didn’t get around to it or felt it was too expensive. For more details, have a look at Health Reports or search for “home care” on the Statcan website.

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