CFN on Parliament Hill: why frailty needs to be included in 2019 election platforms

April 29, 2019

Canadian Frailty Network Scientific Director Dr. John Muscedere and Board Chair Russell Williams were back on Parliament Hill April 29th to meet with the Liberal Seniors’ Caucus, co-chaired by Jean Yip, MP for Scarborough Agincourt (Ontario), and Churence Rogers, MP for Bonavista-Burin-Trinity (Newfoundland and Labrador). Read the backgrounder provided to the Caucus here (en français).

This follows meetings between Canadian Frailty Network board members and management and Ministers, MPs, staff and Senators from all Parties. These meetings on Parliament Hill April 8th and 9th offered a great opportunity to discuss key areas regarding seniors and frailty that could be covered in 2019 election platforms.

Canadians are living longer than ever, and our population is aging rapidly. Over 25 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 65-84 years, and over 50 per cent over the age of 85 — more than one million Canadians — are medically frail.

As the number of seniors continues to grow, the lack of effective resources and support for adequately managing this condition is increasingly urgent. In fact, in just six years, it is projected that over two million Canadians will be living with frailty.

The bottom line is that our health and social care systems are going to be continually challenged to improve the quality and quantity of care delivered to older Canadians living with frailty — including those from particularly vulnerable populations like Indigenous people, veterans and women. And there will be increasing pressure from the baby boomer generation who are now caregivers and in some cases becoming frail themselves.

CFN is uniquely positioned to help, and these meetings on the Hill are an opportunity for parliamentarians to hear about the issues around frailty and older Canadians, and to discuss innovative approaches for improving health and social care.