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Alberta, feds make bilateral agreement to support seniors

The Government of Alberta and federal government will work together to help improve home care and continuing care initiatives across the province.
Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Health for Alberta, makes a health care announcement in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023. A doctors’ group says neonatal intensive care units in Edmonton have been too full and it’s putting vulnerable babies at risk. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

The Government of Alberta and federal government will work together to help improve home care and continuing care initiatives across the province. 

In a joint announcement Thursday, the province and federal government said they have signed a five-year, $627 million bilateral funding agreement to support home care and continuing care home initiatives. The funding agreement is titled Aging With Dignity

According to the province, home care initiatives will include enhancing home care services, improving access to palliative and end-of-life care, increasing support for caregivers, and expanding non-medical supports.

Continuing care home initiatives will include supporting quality-of-life best practices in home care and continuing care homes, expanding continuing care workforce education, training and development opportunities, providing workforce mental health support, and enhancing compliance and monitoring capacity for continuing care homes.

“We are committed to making sure Albertans have the care they need as they age," said Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Health and MLA for Red Deer- North. 

"This funding will complement the significant continuing care transformation investments Alberta’s government is making and the improvements we are putting in place to meet the growing care needs of Albertans as they age. This transformational work will provide Albertans high-quality care close to home and will build a responsive and sustainable continuing care system for years to come.”

The province has also allocated $654 million over three years for the Continuing Care Capital Program to improve access to continuing care spaces for Albertans, including those who no longer need to stay at a hospital but require further support. The capital funding will also support efforts to reduce emergency department wait times by freeing up more beds and making sure Albertans are getting the right supports in the appropriate setting.

“The Alberta Continuing Care Association (ACCA) is proud to be a partner in this announcement of funding to enhance community and continuing care initiatives in the province with the support of federal funding to ensure clients and residents in this sector receive the highest quality of care and support," said Feisal Keshavjee, chair, Alberta Continuing Care Association. 

"We appreciate both levels of government addressing the continuum of services for Albertans. We feel strongly that this infusion of funding will make a huge difference in supporting Albertans to remain in their homes and in their communities with the right supports for as long as possible.”

In the release, the province said that by 2046, one in five Albertans will be 65 or older. Due to people living longer and with more complex needs, they expect the demand for continuing care to increase. They noted that the demand for continuing care could increase by 80 percent over the next 10 years. 



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