Securing Alberta’s continuing care future
Nearly $4.3 billion in funding will strengthen the delivery of continuing care programs and services for Albertans.
Through Budget 2023, Alberta’s government is increasing investment in the continuing care system by $570 million – a 15 per cent increase from last year – to secure the future of the province’s continuing care needs. Budget 2023 includes $1 billion over three years to begin transforming the continuing care system to meet the growing needs of an aging population.
“Alberta seniors and persons with disabilities deserve high-quality care in their homes and communities, close to their family and friends. This significant investment in Budget 2023 for the continuing care system will support care and services for Albertans to increase their independence and quality of life.”Jason Copping, Minister of Health
These targeted investments will shift care to the community, enhance workforce capacity, increase choice and innovation, and advance high-quality care. Expanding options for Albertans who prefer to age in place provides an added benefit to residents and enhances the communities where they live.
‘We are grateful for this additional investment in Continuing Care, which will help Albertans continue to receive the best quality care no matter where they live. Whether it’s home care or facility-based care, AHS is working to expand capacity through innovative approaches to care that will create a sustainable, accessible Continuing Care system. AHS would like to thank all of our contracted service providers who continue to support all Albertans”Mauro Chies, interim president and CEO, Alberta Health Services
Strategic investments in the continuing care sector also respond to the facility-based continuing care review and the palliative and end-of-life care engagement with Albertans. The increased funding will help implement the ideas presented by the community consultations to make sure the system meets the evolving needs of Albertans.
“The ACCA welcomes Alberta’s Budget 2023 announcement of an increase of more than 15 per cent from last year for continuing care. This includes investments which will advance continuing care transformation and will undoubtedly be well-received by our members, who are continuing care operators across Alberta. However, the true beneficiaries of this funding will be our grandparents, parents, children, friends and neighbours, as it will promote care choices, enhance quality of life and enable Albertans to age in place in their communities.”Feisal Keshavjvee, chair, Alberta Continuing Care Association
The $4.3 billion in operational funding for Alberta’s continuing care system breaks down as follows:
- $2 billion for community care, an increase of $301 million or 17.7 per cent from 2022-23
- $1.4 billion for continuing care homes, an increase of
$120 million or 9.4 per cent from 2022-23
- $893 million for home care, an increase of $149 million or 20 per cent from 2022-23
“This historic investment in the continuing care sector in Alberta will meet a critical need in providing care and supports that will help people maintain quality of life and independence in the community while strengthening and enhancing care and services provided in continuing care centres, should they need them. This funding demonstrates a commitment to the future of continuing care in Alberta.”Shawna Syverson, chair, Carewest
Albertans will be able to receive the care and services they need in the most appropriate setting. Budget 2023 will make Alberta’s continuing care system more sustainable and responsive, and will help to address existing pressures in continuing care homes and in acute care by increasing:
- the proportion of Albertans who receive care and supports through home and community care rather than through facility-based care
- the hours of care for continuing care home residents
- capacity for Albertans able to receive palliative and end-of-life care at home or in a community hospice
- access to services and supports in rural areas
- supports for caregivers
New funding for continuing care capital projects
To meet the rising needs of Alberta’s aging population and those living with complex health needs and disabilities, the government is investing significant capital funding through the Continuing Care Capital Program to modernize existing continuing care spaces, develop culturally appropriate spaces to support Indigenous groups, create new, innovative small care homes and add new spaces in priority areas having the greatest need.
- Budget 2023 will invest $89.5 million to the Continuing Care Capital Program in 2023-24, for a total investment of $310 million over three years.
- This funding will further expand continuing care capacity in the province, which has already increased by 2,450 spaces since 2018.
- $73.5 million over three years is allocated to complete the new Bridgeland Riverside Continuing Care Centre in Calgary that will add 198 new continuing care spaces in the community.
- $90.6 million over three years is budgeted to complete the Gene Zwozdesky Centre in Edmonton that will add 145 new continuing care spaces and renovate 205 existing spaces.
Budget 2023 secures Alberta’s future by transforming the health-care system to meet people’s needs, supporting Albertans with the high cost of living, keeping our communities safe and driving the economy with more jobs, quality education and continued diversification.
- By 2046, one in five Albertans will be 65 years of age or older, making up more than 1.2 million of the total population.
- The need for continuing care will significantly increase over the next 10 years.
- Budget 2023: Strengthening health care (Feb 28, 2023)
- Watch the news conference
- Audio: Quote from Feisal Keshavjvee, chair, Alberta Continuing Care Association
- Audio: Quote from Shawna Syverson, chair, Carewest
Alberta NDP Seniors Critic Lori Sigurdson issued the following statement in response to Health Minister Jason Copping’s comments on continuing care:
“For four years, Alberta seniors have paid more and received less care under the UCP.
“When the pandemic struck continuing care, this same government refused to invest in safety and ensuring proper staffing protocols. A recent Auditor General report showed more seniors in care got sick, and more died, because the UCP refused to invest when it mattered most. Now, they’re rushing to play catch up ahead of an election. This is a shameful record.
“The UCP didn’t act when it mattered most, and their promises shouldn’t be trusted now. Especially when Budget 2023 includes a hike on accommodation fees in continuing care, and continues to deny seniors access to a non-partisan advocate to raise their voice.
“Seniors deserve a government they can trust. Under Rachel Notley’s plan, we will ensure proper care standards, better support for staff, and more safety and accountability. We will bring back the Seniors’ Advocate, bring back doctors, and we will protect seniors’ pensions.”