EDITORIAL: Boomers put health care in spotlight

Health care in Canada is always playing catch up, but with retiring baby boomers in the wings, now is the time to get caught up.

While we applaud the announcement of a new $70-million residential care facility for seniors with dementia in Victoria, we question whether it’s enough.

The new 320-bed residential facility, Summit at Quadra Village, will house seniors with dementia and who require complex care. It is expected to be completed in 2018.

Summit at Quadra Village will replace Oak Bay Lodge and Mount Tolmie Hospital, which consist of 580 beds and will close once Summit opens.

The remaining 260 beds that will be lost once Oak Bay Lodge and Mount Tolmie Hospital close are located at the new Heights at Mount View Village.

There are currently no plans to add any more beds.

New census data shows Canada now has a higher proportion of seniors than ever before — a development that has crept up on society with far-reaching implications for health care.

So, how will keeping residential care beds at current levels alleviate demands for seniors care in the future? The baby boomer retirement wave is expected to hit full force in 2025, says Statistics Canada.

It’s not an issue our community will need the beds in the not-to-distant future. What we need is to look at different ways to deal with it.

One such solution is to keep Oak Bay Lodge and Mount Tolmie Hospital in surplus, so beds can be available if needed. Another fix is to put more funding into community care.

Health care in Canada is always playing catch up, but with retiring baby boomers in the wings, now is the time to get caught up.