Improving access to necessary care of older adults in British Columbia and Canada

By 2031, one-quarter of the Canadian population is expected to consist of adults aged 65 years and older. While many seniors lead healthy and active lives, a significant number live with multiple chronic health issues that require a broad spectrum of social and health services. In order to understand the health needs of seniors and the ability of the health system to meet them, high quality evidence about health and health care delivery is required to answer the many questions that still remain regarding seniors’ access to health services. Dr. Adrian Levy’s research encompasses four inter-related projects focused on generating knowledge about health services required for older adults in BC, including the impacts of changing health services and future health services requirements. These projects include: describing process flows for seniors from independent living to long-term care in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority; examining the impact of closing residential care beds in BC; comparing wait times to long-term care in BC with those in Ontario; and determining the number of seniors who are institutionalized within in the community in which they live. Dr. Levy’s research findings regarding the health care needs and challenges facing older adults in BC will inform policy and program decision-making related to long-term care in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.