Reimagining Care for Older Adults: Next Steps in COVID-19 Response in Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes

July 2020 

The long-term care (LTC) and retirement home sector in Canada has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with devastating effects in some homes. Eight in 10 COVID-19-related deaths in Canada are in LTC, which is double the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average.1

The Reimagining Care for Older Adults report was published by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (now Healthcare Excellence Canada). It’s based on more than 40 interviews with family partners in care, healthcare leaders and policymakers in the spring of 2020. It focused on promising practices in six key areas that had the potential to reduce the risk of future COVID-19 outbreaks or mitigate their effects:  

  1. preparation 
  2. prevention 
  3. people in the workforce 
  4. pandemic response and surge capacity 
  5. planning for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care 
  6. presence of family. 

The report supported those delivering healthcare to older adults in congregate settings – staff, managers, policymakers, family and essential care partners and others working hard to manage tough situations  while also trying to look and plan ahead. 

The report informed the – LTC+ Acting on Pandemic Learning Together program led by HEC. This program was designed to help support the LTC and retirement home sector to learn from each other and prepare for potential future waves.  

Download the Executive Summary of Reimagining Care for Older Adults 

Download the Full Report of Reimagining Care for Older Adults 

1Canadian Institute for Health Information. Pandemic Experience in the Long-Term Care Sector: How Does Canada Compare With Other Countries?. Ottawa, ON: CIHI; 2020; accessed on June 25, 2020: