Long term care is the provision of therapeutic and non therapeutic care to individuals’ who are suffering from chronic illness or have bodily disability (Pratt 2006). This encompasses the care of the elderly people with complex medical needs. One is considered Elderly after attaining the age of 65. The care involves assisting such people with support services like bathing, dressing and bathing. Such services are done at home in the community or at nursing homes (Moore and Erick, 2001). This report shall compare and contrast the Long-term care in USA and Canada.
Long-term Care in USA
The people who need long term care in the US are increasing due to improved levels of healthcare. The life expectancy is rising and thus the upsurge in the number of the elderly people. It is estimated to be more than 60% of the population. By 2000, about 10 million Americans needed long term care. Characteristically, these are people who cannot generate income at all; those who had formal or decent jobs exhaust their pensions for health needs (Landsberger, 2005). Many have to depend on government gratuity, family members, and sympathizers or institutions that care for them. They are weak and frail with impaired mobility. The immune system of these people is low and hence is prone to diseases. Cancer is the most prevalent disease among the elderly. In the US, Family Care Giver, National Alliance for Care giving and Martha Stewart Center for Living at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City are organizations which provide long term care to elderly family members, friends and other members of the society (Pratt, 2006).
Long-term Care in Canada
The caregivers for the elderly long term patients in Canada are privately owned firms which are profit oriented. These firms, however, compete with those facilities funded by the Ministry of Health (Moore and Erick, 2001). There are also home based care units which are done by volunteers and family members. Home based care is the most preferred choice since its homely to the patients. Generally the characteristics of the Elderly here are the same as those in the US. There is a sharp increase of this population with many medical challenges. The incidences of Diabetes mellitus and Cancer diseases amongst this population are very high (Moore and Erick, 2001). The care takers in Canada are very few and ran as a business.
The two countries have the same initiatives for caring for the Elderly and those who require long term care. However there are a few differences. For instance, in the US, the institutional care facilities are funded by the government. In contrast, in Canada it is owned as private businesses with a few being funded by the government (Moore and Erick, 2001). This means that Long term patients in Canada pay more for the services being offered. In The US, it is the tax payer’s money that is used as part of a healthcare program which is provided to all. The ageing population in the US is bigger than that in Canada due to the fact that USA is industrialized and medical care is more emphasized. The Long term patients in both countries have similar characteristics. There have ill health and always prone to diseases. The bodily activity is impaired as the senses become ineffective.
The elderly and long term patients are a challenge to the health care which should be free and available for all patients. The US and Canada have shown to the world that this group should be cared for in a humane way. Canada should emulate the US in funding for this group of people as a health requirement. Euthanasia should also be performed in cases where there are terminally ill and aged patients to save on the cost of caring for them. Caring for this sickly group should therefore be made a top priority by governments of USA and Canada.
Landsberger, H. B. (2005). Long-term care for the elderly: a comparative view of layers of care. Taylor and Francis.
Moore, S. and Eric, G. (2001). Canada’s elderly population: The challenges of diversity. Canadian Geographer.
Pratt, R. J. (2006). Long- Term Care: Managing Across the Continuum (3rd Ed). Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury.