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Aging population creates need for 5,100 new beds by 2036: report

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Manitoba will need 5,100 more personal care home beds or supportive housing units by 2036 to cope with an aging population, according to a new report by the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy.

The extra capacity for long-term care won’t be required all at once and requirements will vary from region to region, the study says.

For example, between now and 2021, projections show a slight increase in the number of seniors for the Winnipeg area while a more dramatic increase is predicted for the Interlake, eastern, northern and southern regions. Western Manitoba, however, will actually see a decrease in seniors during this time.

But from 2021 to 2031, demands are expected to increase substantially in all parts of Manitoba, the study says.

There are about 9,600 personal care home beds in the province, about 5,400 of which are in Winnipeg.

The report says that a senior’s family situation affects the likelihood that he or she will need for long-term care.

A woman who is married is 23 per cent less likely to enter a personal care home while a married man is 40 per cent less likely to do so.

Having a single child reduces the likelihood of entering long-term care by 27 per cent while having two or three children reduces the likelihood by 34 and 38 per cent respectively.

"Family members can prevent or reduce the need for PCHs, but some have a bigger impact than others," said lead researcher Dr. Dan Chateau. "On average, a husband is almost as good as one child and a wife is better than three."

The Manitoba Centre for Health Policy is a research unit within the U of M’s faculty of medicine.

 

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