Coming of Age: Meeting the needs of our ageing population

Ontario Long Term Care Association

Welcome to Coming of Age: Meeting the needs of our ageing population, a podcast about how we can better support our seniors. The current challenges facing long-term care have never been more imperative. By 2050, the number of seniors per 100 working-age people will nearly triple to 58 in 2060. We need to look to the future now, so we can effectively prepare to care for our ageing population, build proper infrastructure, and transform the sector to respond to the changing needs of new residents. Listen in as Donna Duncan, CEO of Ontario Long Term Care Association is joined by leaders, advocates, and affected families. They dissect the notion of ageism in today’s society and reflect on how the global long-term care system can change to best support the changing expectations of future generations.

All Episodes

The transition to a long-term care setting can bring up a range of emotions for both a new resident and their care partners. The transition can produce feelings of anxiety and fear in seniors and is often the source of tremendous guilt and uncertainty for family members. In this episode of Coming of Age, Donna sits down with Deborah Bakti, a seniors’ care consultant, speaker, coach, and trainer who helps build positive connections in seniors' homes. She worked in seniors’ care for 11 years prior to starting her own business, and she also lived through the transitions when her husband and parents moved into long-term care and retirement home settings. During the episode, Donna and Deborah discuss how her experiences have equipped her to and understand the process of transitioning into long-term care inside and out, and how families and care teams can build strong connections with each other during this significant life change.  

Nov 9

33 min 29 sec

As the needs of seniors grow increasingly complex with time, technology will need to keep up the pace. In this episode of Coming of Age, Donna sits down with William Charnetski, PointClickCare’s Executive Vice President of Health Systems Solutions and Government Affairs. During this episode, they discuss some of the current system challenges in seniors’ care as well as how better data and technology can help improve care and the care experience for seniors. Learn more about William here:

Oct 26

33 min 6 sec

As the number of seniors in Canada continues growing exponentially, the continuum of care will need to expand to keep up. Our healthcare infrastructure, policies and long-term care system will need to evolve in response to the rise in demand for services and quality care. In this episode of Coming of Age, Donna sits down with Dr. Nathan Stall, a geriatrician at Sinai Health System. Having completed his fellowship training in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Toronto, Nathan is also a research fellow at Women‘s College Research Institute, and is currently working towards a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research at U of T’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME). In his research, Nathan looks at the impacts of caregiving for those living with dementia and drug safety for older adults, while his clinical work is focused on acute care geriatrics. During the episode, Donna and Nathan discuss how the needs of seniors will continue to evolve in the future, and what we can all do to better support them.Learn more about Dr. Nathan Stall:

Oct 12

35 min 40 sec

 By 2030, Canada will be home to 9.5 million seniors, making up 23 percent of all Canadians. With the baby boom generation aging, the challenge of providing adequate seniors’ care in the future looms. Are we ready? In this episode of Coming of Age, Donna sits down with Laura Tamblyn Watts, the President and CEO of CanAge, Canada’s national advocacy organization for seniors. She shares her perspective on the impending upsurge of seniors in Canada, what we can do to prepare, and offers insight into what we can learn from the pandemic to build a better future for all of us as we age.Learn more about Laura Tamblyn Watts:

Sep 28

31 min 59 sec

More than two-thirds of the long-term care population in Canada is living with some form of dementia. Despite its prevalence, the disease still comes along with a strong stigma and many common misunderstandings. In this episode, Donna sits down with Dr. Rhonda Collins, the Chief Medical Officer at Revera, a company that owns and operates long-term care and retirement homes across North America and the U.K. As an advocate for those living with dementia and their loved ones, Dr. Collins sheds light on the common myths and misconceptions surrounding the condition, and the kinds of policy changes that are needed to provide better care. She and Donna also discuss the insights from a film produced by Revera called Unforgettable Ian: A long term care story, which seeks to demystify the experience of life in long-term care for Canadians.Learn more about Dr. Rhonda Collins:

Sep 14

51 min 28 sec

Since the onset of the pandemic, the experience of the United Kingdom seniors’ care system paralleled Canada. In both countries, each challenge was met with new thinking – and solutions – to overcome them and protect our most vulnerable. So, what does that mean as we reimagine growing older, and the different types of supports required?In this episode of Coming of Age, Donna sits down with Vic Rayner OBE, the CEO of The National Care Forum, a not-for-profit focused on providing leading care for over 27 years. Vic has become a prominent voice in the sector.  They discuss what our ageing population needs in the immediate future, what role technology will play, and what resources are needed to get there as the population requiring support rapidly grows. Learn more about Vic Rayner:

Aug 31

49 min 47 sec

Like Ontario, Australia has been grappling with long-standing systemic challenges in their seniors’ care system for decades. Australia is looking for innovative ways to reshape the system and improve care for its seniors, and there is much we can learn from each other as we work to make change on opposite ends of the world. In this episode of Coming of Age, Donna sits down with Marcus Riley, the Director of the Global Ageing Network and a member of the Steering Committee for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP). They discuss the current seniors’ care system in Australia and the challenges they have faced over the years. Marcus sheds light on the main recommendations offered by the Commission, and new models of care Australia is exploring. Learn more about the Global Ageing Network here:

Aug 17

50 min 38 sec

As our senior population increases, there are a lot of questions around how we’re going to provide the care that the baby boom generation will need. Join OLTCA’s Donna Duncan in conversation with Dr. Bob Bell, former Deputy Minister of Health for Ontario, as they discuss what strategies can help to keep more seniors at home as they age, and why increasing the number of long-term care beds is also necessary.

Aug 3

36 min 13 sec

What can Canada learn about long-term care from other parts of the world? In this episode of Coming of Age, Donna sits down with Katie Smith Sloan, the Executive Director of The Global Ageing Network, an international network of leaders in seniors’ care. Donna and Katie discuss how other areas of the world have adapted to growing senior populations and explore how Canada can take action to create better supports for seniors. Learn more about the Global Ageing Network here:

Jul 20

33 min 31 sec

Lisa Raitt is the former Canadian Minister of Labour, working under the Stephen Harper administration. After her husband was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's, she made the decision to put him in a long-term care facility for the foreseeable future. In this episode of Coming of Age, Donna welcomes her to the show to discuss how she made her decision, the stigma around long-term care, how to reframe it, and the possibilities she sees for the future of long-term care occupations. Learn more about the Ontario Long Term Care Association here:

Jul 6

36 min 13 sec

Mental health and long-term care are deeply interwoven and during the COVID-19 pandemic, this has never been more evident. In our second episode, Donna interviews Adrienne Spafford, the former Senior Director, Strategy & Public Affairs at OLTCA. Adrienne is now CEO of Addictions and Mental Health Ontario, and on today's episode, the two discuss the intersection of mental health in long-term care homes, first by addressing the needs of seniors and reflecting on the challenges and solutions created over the past 14 months. They question how we can reimagine senior living to promote stronger mental health by removing the stigma around mental illness. They continue by discussing front line workers, exploring how as a system, we can better provide the necessary resources care staff need on a daily basis. Learn more about Adrienne Spafford and her work at Addictions and Mental Health Ontario here:

Jun 22

31 min 23 sec

It’s time for real change in long-term care. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the shortcomings that the system has felt for decades and now, the public is ready for change. In our first episode, Donna sits down with Moira Welsh to discuss the current state of Canadian long-term care and what can be done to create the best possible experience for seniors. They dive into the need for a human-first approach to senior living, the ways that the system will need to adapt to the ageing baby boom population, why freedom and growth are so important to resident lives, and what long term care homes can do to better support their existing staff. Moira Welsh is the author of Happily Ever Ageing and an investigative journalist for the Toronto Star. Follow her on Twitter @MoiraWelsh or on LinkedInRead her articles here: Happily Ever Ageing at Indigo, Amazon, independent bookstores, as an e-book from Kindle and Kobo, or as an audiobook on Audible.

Jun 8

33 min 3 sec

May 7

1 min 32 sec