Beyond the 'iron lungs of gerontology': using evidence to shape the future of nursing homes in Canada

TitleBeyond the 'iron lungs of gerontology': using evidence to shape the future of nursing homes in Canada
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsHirdes J.P, Mitchell L., Maxwell C.J, White N.
JournalCanadian journal on aging = La revue canadienne du vieillissement
Date PublishedSep
ISBN Number1710-1107 (Electronic)<br/>0714-9808 (Linking)
Accession Number21851753
Keywords*Geriatrics, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Canada, Female, Forecasting, Homes for the Aged/*standards/*trends, Humans, Information Systems, Male, Nursing Homes/*standards/*trends, Process Assessment (Health Care)

Institutionalization of the Elderly in Canada suggested that efforts to address the underlying causes of age-related declines in health might negate the need for nursing homes. However, the prevalence of chronic disease has increased, and conditions like dementia mean that nursing homes are likely to remain important features of the Canadian health care system. A fundamental problem limiting the ability to understand how nursing homes may change to better meet the needs of an aging population was the lack of person-level clinical information. The introduction of interRAI assessment instruments to most Canadian provinces/territories and the establishment of the national Continuing Care Reporting System represent important steps in our capacity to understand nursing home care in Canada. Evidence from eight provinces and territories shows that the needs of persons in long-term care are highly complex, resource allocations do not always correspond to needs, and quality varies substantially between and within provinces.


Short TitleCan J Aging
Alternate JournalCan J Aging