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In-Focus Backgrounders

In Focus Backgrounders and Profiles aim to provide members with the most recent research and evidence on a range of community care topics in an easily accessible format.

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HIGHLIGHTS!

Increasing numbers of family, friends and neighbours contribute a vast pool of unpaid labour to support the wellbeing and independence of individuals who need care. The caregiving contributions of this “shadow workforce” is estimated to save the Canadian healthcare system over $26 billion dollars a year. Until recently however, young carers have received little policy attention despite their increasing numbers and critical role. This Backgrounder looks at the distinctive challenges that the generation born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s face as they balance caregiving with school, work and other life responsibilities.

Please see our In-Focus Backgrounder on The Invisible Cohort of Young Carers.

Even before the global COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the world had identified social and emotional isolation and loneliness as a serious public health concern. Considerable research evidence shows that social isolation and loneliness are critical risk factors for poor mental and physical health. In fact, loneliness can be deadly.

Please see our In-Focus Backgrounder on The Other Epidemic: Social Isolation and Loneliness Among Older People [Darsan please provide the link]

With an aging Canadian population, increasing mobility of young people and smaller families, Canada, like other countries in the world, will face a growing “care gap” with fewer family members to provide supportive care. The emerging field of “gerontechnology” may enable older adults to continue to live independently for as long as possible, to empower self-management of their health, and to stay connected to their community while reducing caregiver burden on family and friends.  What are the pros and cons of apps, carebots, and other devices for connected aging?

Please see our PDF fileIn-Focus Backgrounder on Gerontechnology

Medical marijuana (cannabis) has been legal in Canada since 2001. There is growing, yet still limited evidence, that marijuana can help with health conditions experienced by many older persons including nausea related to chemotherapy, Alzheimer’s disease, pain, and mental health issues such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety. Yet, older persons may be reluctant to use marijuana because of persistent stigma, or because of an unwillingness by health care professionals to consider its use. The federal government’s legalization of cannabis, expected in the fall of 2018, will open the door to new and innovative use by older persons as an alternative to prescription pharmaceuticals.

This CRNCC backgrounder examines the potential benefits and cautionary notes on marijuana use by older Canadians. 

Please see our PDF fileIn-Focus Backgrounder on Marijuana and Older People

Straight Dope on Cannabis and Older People

Medical marijuana (cannabis) has been legal in Canada since 2001. There is growing, yet still limited evidence, that marijuana can help with health conditions experienced by many older persons including nausea related to chemotherapy, Alzheimer’s disease, pain, and mental health issues such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety. Yet, older persons may be reluctant to use marijuana because of persistent stigma, or because of an unwillingness by health care professionals to consider its use. The federal government’s legalization of cannabis, expected in the fall of 2018, will open the door to new and innovative use by older persons as an alternative to prescription pharmaceuticals.

This CRNCC backgrounder examines the potential benefits and cautionary notes on marijuana use by older Canadians. 
Please see our PDF fileIn-Focus Backgrounder on Marijuana and Older People

Seniors’ Campus Continuums: Local Solutions for Broad Spectrum Seniors Care

In January 2021, authors Frances Margaret Morton-Chang, Shilpi Majumder and Whitney Berta released a report on “campus continuums” as viable alternatives to long-term care facilities. Such campuses can wrap care around older people enabling seniors to “age in place” in their own homes located in their familiar vibrant communities as they have consistently wished.

According to the authors, campuses offer “enhanced collaboration opportunities across providers and partners to improve consistency and coordination of care, access to shared resources, expertise and infrastructure at the organizational level. At a system level, campuses can address a diversity of health, social, financial, and housing needs to help seniors avoid premature or inappropriate use of higher intensity care settings.”

To access the document, go to the CRNCC Knowledge Bank. (please download the article into our Knowledge Bank and add link to article)

Morton-Chang, F., Majumder, S. & Berta, W. (January 2021). Seniors’ campus continuums: local solutions for broad spectrum seniors care. BMC Geriatr 2170. Retrieved from:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-020-01781-8, external link

Seniors for Social Action Ontario

In the Spring of 2020, as COVID gained momentum, especially in long term care facilities, over a dozen people with decades of experience in research, policy, programming and systemic advocacy came together to try to make a difference by founding Seniors For Social Action Ontario (SSAO).  In less than a year, its membership has grown to close to 350 people across the province. It is an impressive organization fuelled entirely by the voluntary work of its members.

Recognizing the voting power of increasing numbers of older people, this organization seeks to harness the political force of this cohort to demand viable alternatives to institutional long-term care (LTC) facilities.  Given that 80% of the COVID 19 deaths have occurred in LTC, the demands to end institutionalization, identify alternatives to institutionalization and call on governments to finance these alternatives ring with particular urgency.

To find out more about this group, please see: https://www.seniorsactionontario.com/about, external link

Diversity: Disability Issues in Home and Community Care

Written by Janet Lum (Ryerson University); with assistance from student researchers: Khadija Khan (Ryerson University), Will Rassenti (Ryerson University), Sarah Smith (Ryerson University), Alexandra Williams (University of Western), Alvin Ying (Ryerson University); in consultation with: Claire Bryden (Bellwoods Centres for Community Living Inc), Suzanne Crawford and Jim McMinn (LOFT Community Services), Randi Fine (Older Persons' Mental Health and Addictions Network of Ontario), Judi Fisher (Cheshire Southwestern Ontario), Kimberly Wilson (Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health); and Brian Young (Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs). Updated January 2014
PDF fileDiversity: Disability Issues in Home and Community Care

Diversity: Sexual Orientation in Home and Community Care

Written by Janet Lum (Ryerson University); with assistance from student researchers:Jennifer Sladek (McMaster University), Jillian Watkins (University of Toronto), Alvin Ying (Ryerson University); in consultation with Bruce Graham (Community Care East York), Tim McCaskell (Author and HIV/AIDS Educator), Dick Moore (519 Community Centre), and Anna Travers (Sherbourne Health Centre). Updated July 2011
PDF fileDiversity: Sexual Orientation in Home and Community Care

Diversity: Ethnoracial Issues in Home and Community Care

Written by Janet Lum (Ryerson University); with assistance from: Jennifer Sladek (McMaster University), Joseph Springer (Ryerson University), Alvin Ying (Ryerson University); in consultation with Jennifer Clark (Ryerson University), Deborah Egan (Community Home Assistance to Seniors), Usha George (Ryerson University), Sujata Ganguli (St. Clair West Services for Seniors), Odette Maharaj (Scarborough Services for Seniors), Odete Nascimento (St Christopher House), and Jane Sutherland Fry (Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres). July 2009
PDF fileDiversity: Ethnoracial Issues in Home and Community Care

Straight Dope on Cannabis and Older People

Written by Janet Lum (Ryerson University). July 2018.
PDF fileStraight Dope on Cannabis and Older People

Community Hubs: Right Care, Right Place, Right Time

Written by Janet Lum and Alvin Ying (Ryerson University). November 2014
PDF fileCommunity Hubs: Right Care, Right Place, Right Time

Science Behind the Alzheimer Society of Toronto iPod Project

Written by Tommy Tam, Jillian Watkins, Allie Peckham, David Rudoler, Steve Durant, and A. Paul Williams (Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto). August 2013
PDF fileScience Behind the Alzheimer Society of Toronto iPod Project

Ontario Personal Support Workers in Home and Community Care: CRNCC/PSNO Survey Results

Written by Janet M. Lum (Ryerson University), Jennifer Sladek (Ryerson University) and Alvin Ying (Ryerson University) with assistance from Lori Holloway Payne (Personal Support Network of Ontario). December 2010 
PDF fileOntario Personal Support Workers in Home and Community Care: CRNCC/PSNO Survey Results

Home Support Workers in the Continuum of Care for Older People

Written by Janet M. Lum (Ryerson University), Jennifer Sladek (Ryerson University) and Alvin Ying (Ryerson University) with assistance from Lori Holloway Payne (Personal Support Network of Ontario). August 2010 
PDF fileHome Support Workers in the Continuum of Care for Older People

Supporting Self-Managed Care

Written by Janet M. Lum (Ryerson University), Susan Himel (Bridgepoint Health), Jennifer Sladek (Ryerson University) and Alvin Ying (Ryerson University) with assistance from Sanja Bislimovic (Ryerson University) and Suman Budhwani (Ryerson University). February 2010
PDF fileSupporting Self-Managed Care

Children and Youth Home Care in Canada

Written by Karen Spalding (Ryerson University); with David Salib (Ryerson University). August 2008
PDF fileChildren and Youth Home Care in Canada

The Balance of Care

Written by A. Paul Williams, Kerry Kuluski, Jillian Watkins, and Robin Montgomery, University of Toronto; Janet Lum and Alvin Ying, Ryerson University; in collaboration with David Challis Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU), University of Manchester. November 2009
PDF fileThe Balance of Care

Seniors' Mental Health and Addictions

Written by A. Paul Williams (University of Toronto); with assistance from: David Salib (Ryerson University), Janet Lum (Ryerson University); in collaboration with Faith Malach (Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health), and Randi Fine (Older Persons’ Mental Health and Addictions Network). June 2006
PDF fileSeniors' Mental Health and Addictions

Community Support Services

Written by Fern Teplitsky (Health Planner/Consultant), A. Paul Williams (University of Toronto), Raisa Deber (University of Toronto), Janet Lum (Ryerson University), and David Salib (Ryerson University). March 2006
PDF fileCommunity Support Services

Falls Prevention for Seniors

Written by Janet M. Lum (Ryerson University), A. Paul Williams (University of Toronto), Raisa Deber (University of Toronto) in consultation with Joanne Jasper, Downsview Services to Seniors; Dave Pedlar & Stewart Macintosh, Veterans Affairs Canada; Jane Fry-Sutherland, Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres; Debbie Humphreys, Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes & Services for Seniors; Kimberly Wilson, Canadian Coalition for Seniors Mental Health; with assistance from Sanja Bislimovic (Ryerson University) and Alvin Ying (Ryerson University) . Updated July 2009
PDF fileFalls Prevention for Seniors

Sexuality and Aging

Written by Janet M. Lum with assistance from Jennifer Sladek, Alvin Ying, Sanja Bislimovic and Thomas Kais Prial. December 2009
PDF fileSexuality and Aging

Informal Caregiving

Written by Janet Lum (Ryerson University); with assistance from Louisa Hawkins (Ryerson University), Jenny Liu (Ryerson University), Alvin Ying (Ryerson University), Jennifer Sladek (Ryerson University), Allie Peckham (University of Toronto) and A. Paul Williams (University of Toronto). July 2011
PDF fileInformal Caregiving

Informal Caregiving and Diversity

Written by Janet Lum (Ryerson University); with assistance from Joe Springer (Ryerson University), Jenny Liu (Ryerson University) and Alvin Ying (Ryerson University). July 2011
PDF fileInformal Caregiving and Diversity

Informal Caregiving and LGBT Communities

Written by Janet Lum (Ryerson University) and Louisa Hawkins (Ryerson University); with assistance from Alvin Ying (Ryerson University), Jillian Watkins (University of Toronto) and Tim McCaskell (Author and HIV/AIDS Educator). July 2011
PDF fileInformal Caregiving and LGBT Communities

Profiling Solutions - East Toronto's Health Collaborative: A Hospital-Community Collaboration Success

Written by Janet Lum (Ryerson University); with assistance from Wolf Klassen (Toronto East General Hospital), Diana Hooper (Toronto East General Hospital), and Jennifer Sladek (McMaster University). August 2010

PDF fileProfiling Solutions - East Toronto's Health Collaborative: A Hospital-Community Collaboration Success

Veterans Independence Program

Written by Janet Lum (Ryerson University); with assistance from David Pedlar (Veterans Affairs Canada), Stewart Macintosh (Veterans Affairs Canada), Jennifer Sladek (McMaster University), and Alvin Ying (Ryerson University). January 2008

PDF fileVeterans Independence Program

Supportive Housing: Australia's Retirement Villages Care Pilot

Written by Janet Lum & Carolyn Steele-Gray, with assistance from Jennifer Sladek & Alvin Ying. June 2009
PDF fileSupportive Housing: Australia's Retirement Villages Care Pilot

Supportive Housing From the Ground Up: Frequently Asked Questions

Written by Janet Lum (Ryerson University); with assistance from student researchers: Jennifer Sladek (McMaster University); Alvin Ying (Ryerson University); in collaboration with Gerrie Burnett (Neighbourhood Link/Senior Link), Judith Leon (Neighbourhood Link/Senior Link), and Ray Applebaum (Peel Senior Link). October 2007
PDF fileSupportive Housing From the Ground Up: Frequently Asked Questions

Supportive Housing

Written by Janet Lum (Ryerson University); with assistance from: Vivian Leung (University of Toronto), Paul Williams (University of Toronto), Alvin Ying (Ryerson University); in collaboration with Simonne Ruff (Corporation for Supportive Housing). October 2006
PDF fileSupportive Housing