In Ontario, more than 38,000 people are waiting for long-term care placement and the waitlist is growing. While waiting for long-term care, many families continue to provide crucial support to address the needs of their loved ones at home, retirement home, hospital, or other places. Delayed admission can lead to negative health consequences for those waiting for care and create uncertainty, anxiety, and stress for them and their family caregivers.
The wait for long-term care can be just a day for some or more than several years for others. Wellesley Institute’s previous studies found significant disparities in long-term care wait times across various population groups. The findings highlight that wait times varied by the individual’s health status and urgency of long-term care admission, as well as where the person resides, which language one speaks, and whether the person was seeking specific cultural accommodation in long-term care. The wait was particularly long for those seeking placement in a religious, ethnic, or cultural home.
Building on the previous work, the research team conducted qualitative research to explore the reasons why some people choose to wait for long-term care homes with longer waitlists and to examine the experiences of family caregivers of older immigrants throughout their long-term care application and waiting journey. This research paper presents the findings from focus groups and individual interviews with family caregivers of older immigrants from five different ethnocultural communities, waiting for long-term care placement in the GTA.
We would like to thank the family caregivers who took part in our research study for generously sharing their time, stories, and perspectives with us. This project was conducted in collaboration with the Ontario Caregiver Coalition, Punjabi Community Health Services, and Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care. We would also like to thank Villa Charities, TAIBU Community Health Centre, Indus Community Services, and many other organizations for their support throughout this project.