TORONTO — A new report says the stress load on people helping to care for an elderly or sick family member or friend has more than doubled in Ontario in the past four years.
Health Quality Ontario says 33 per cent of people who care for loved ones at home reported feeling distress, anger or depression in 2013-14, up from 16 per cent in 2008-09.
The government advisory group says almost all home care patients rely on an informal caregiver for everything from shopping and transportation to managing medications and helping with personal care.
However, one third of those caregivers say they are too stressed out to do it any longer.
The annual report from Health Quality Ontario also found patients in hospitals are waiting an average of 69 days to get into long-term care homes - an increase of nearly three weeks from four years earlier.
People at home who need a long-term care bed have seen the wait reduced by 74 days, but they're still waiting an average of 116 days, or just under four months.
Health Quality Ontario reports most of its home care indicators did not improve year over year, but it also found 92 per cent of patients said they had a positive experience with the services they received.
Other findings from the 2015 annual report show:
- Ontario's smoking rate fell from 21 to 18 per cent between 2007 and 2013
- Inactivity is down from 50 to 45 per cent since 2007
- Only 44 per cent of adults can see their doctor on the same day or next day when they are sick
- The number of family doctors increased from 93 to 107 per 100,000 residents
- The number of specialists increased from 85 to 93 per 100,000 residents
- Of all the adults with diabetes, one third do not get regular eye exams that can prevent diabetes-related blindness
- The quality of health care services in Ontario can "vary quite a bit by location"
- Wait times for cancer surgeries and hip and knee replacements held steady, but more people are getting those procedures each year within target deadlines
Health Quality Ontario says flat results are not always a bad sign, and the growing size and complexity of Ontario's population means they might represent progress.
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