The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a disproportionate toll on Canada’s most vulnerable populations. With growing evidence on the inequitable impacts of COVID-19 across Canada, it is reasonable to assume that similar impacts have occurred, and will continue to occur, amongst the diverse population groups of Canadians living and working in long-term care settings. Unfortunately, due to the long-standing failure to collect in-depth socio-demographic data in long-term care settings, it is currently not possible to understand the full scope of the pandemic’s impact on residents and workers in Canada’s long-term care settings.
Socio-demographic data is an important tool for measuring and reducing health disparities among people across different population groups and from different backgrounds. To facilitate enhanced socio-demographic data collection in long-term care settings, lessons were drawn from existing initiatives. Wellesley Institute and the National Institute on Ageing have identified five key areas of consideration related to data collection and use.