Long-term care is something every Canadian eventually needs to reckon with – whether it is as we put plans in place for our elder years or when we look to accommodate our loved ones in safety and dignity. What will be our range of needs to cope with the tasks of daily life, whether at home or in a care facility? And yet, ensuring the sustainability of this essential part of the Canadian health care universe has not been a public priority. The COVID-19 outbreak in nursing homes across Canada is forcing us to take a hard look at the consequences of policy and political neglect.

Colin Busby, director of the Institute for Research on Public Policy’s Faces of Aging program, is the guest editor for this series of articles. Experts will tackle such interrelated issues as government financing, private versus public care, support for home care services, and the failure to recognize the skilled workforce looking after our most vulnerable seniors.

Photo: A woman and man hold up signs outside Residence Herron, a long-term care home in the Montreal suburb of Dorval, Saturday, April 11, 2020, as COVID-19 cases rise in Canada and around the world. photo Graham Hughes/THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES