When it comes to home care in Canada, there’s room for improvement.
According to Healthy Debate, a website that aims to inform the public about Canada’s healthcare system, a recent Statistics Canada survey showed that 15 percent of the 2.2 million Canadians receiving in-home care felt they don’t get the support they need from professionals, family and friends.
In Ontario, Community Care Access Centres (CCAC) offer a limited number of hours of care to familieswho require assistance. But as demand grows, and the cost of care rises, more family members and friends are taking on caregiving responsibilities, leading to higher instances of caregiver burnout. With growing need and fewer resources, it’s becoming increasingly important to track quality of care.
Some evaluation already exists. For the past five years, the CCAC has run caregivers surveys, asking clients to rate them on a five-point scale. These surveys may provide skewed results however—some participants may respond overly favourably for fear of repercussions, and those with severe impairments may not be able to answer at all.
Individual CCACs are also required to have an official complaints process.
Similar systems exist in Alberta, and a few nation-wide studies have also been performed. A 2013 study by the Canadian Safety Patient Safety Institute found that 10 to 13 percent of people receiving home care suffer adverse accidents each year (more than half of which were preventable). The study suggested a standardized national complaint system be established to better keeps tabs on, and improve, home care in Canada.
For more information about how quality of care is assessed in Canada, read Healthy Debate’s story here.
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