Canada needs a sustainable model for long‑term care in order to support the health and well‑being of our older adults and their personal caregivers. By 2050, older adults are expected to represent 25% of Canada's population.Footnote 1 If given the choice, over 85% of older adults in Canada would prefer to age in place within their own homes and communities.Footnote 2
Many older adults live with multiple chronic health conditions and require support to manage the activities of daily living. Recent Canadian studies suggest that 11 to 22% of older adults who had recently transitioned into nursing home care could have stayed in home or community‑based care with the appropriate supports in place.Footnote 3, Footnote 4 As Canada prepares for the unique social, fiscal, and medical challenges associated with a rapidly aging population, innovative solutions are required to support older adults in their goal of aging in place.
The program's objectives will focus on improving the quality of life of older adults and their personal caregivers through innovation that will support safe and healthy aging. The program's focus will not merely be on chronic conditions, but also on reducing isolation and maintaining social support networks. The program's research will inform federal and provincial policy decisions by contributing to the development of evidence‑based standards and the collection of high‑quality, long-term care data.
The program is currently engaging with stakeholders on its areas of focus and is planned for launch in spring 2021.
Aging in Place proposed program plan
Challenge Program objective: a 20% decrease in the number of older adults who require nursing home care across Canada by 2031.
Objective: Provide older adults and their caregivers with innovative living environments where they can be safe and injury-free.
Innovative living environments
- Adaptable age‑friendly designs
- Environmental safety
- Smart construction materials
Injury prevention at home
- Sensory/motor changes in aging
- Gait and mobility monitoring
- Fall prevention
Sample metric: Reduction in falls at home
Objective: Enable older adults and their caregivers to effectively manage their cognition, chronic health and activities of daily living.
Cognitive monitoring and enablement
- Early detection of cognitive decline
- Restorative exercises and games
Chronic health management
- Platform integration and interoperability
- Automated decision support
- Therapeutic robots
Daily living support
- Automated prompting for meal preparation, hygiene
- Robotic assistance for physical transfers
Sample metric: Reduction in avoidable hospitalizations
Objective: Strengthen community connections through novel methods of mobility, transportation and social engagement.
Mobility and transportation
- Remote driving capability assessment
- Age-friendly autonomous vehicles and last-mile solutions
- Innovative designs for individual/community transportation
- Novel methods to support community pairings
- Socioeconomic factors in aging
- Age-friendly national wellness platform
Sample metric: Reduction in social isolation
Objective: Develop standards that support safety, enhance technical interoperability, and inform national policy decisions.
Smart home standards
- Safety and accessibility
- Information and communication technologies
- Data privacy and cybersecurity
National data standards
- Costs and utilization of long-term care
- Health service delivery
- Older adult health records
Sample metric: Increase in Canadian agetech adoption