The report provides recommendations to improve the quality of life for residents and their families and the work environment for staff and operators, and make better use of taxpayer dollars. The report also includes learnings from the COVID-19 response to inform future pandemic planning.

“Alberta’s government promised that we would strengthen and modernize continuing care for every resident and family, and this review is a concrete plan to do that. It will help us make continuing care better and safer, including applying the lessons learned from the pandemic and the losses suffered by too many families. The report is a credit to the passionate commitment of my colleague, MLA Richard Gotfried, as well as the expert panel and thousands of residents and families, staff and operators, and others who provided their feedback to inform this important work. We’ll now move forward with an action plan, including new continuing care legislation, to strengthen and modernize our continuing care system.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“Reshaping Alberta’s continuing care system is a huge undertaking. I believe we are on track to make meaningful changes to the model of continuing care service delivery, which will benefit Albertans. The advice and suggestions for improvement from the expert panel were integral to the review process and the recommendations put forward in the report.”

Richard Gotfried, MLA for Calgary-Fish Creek & chair, facility-based continuing care review panel

The recommendations in this unusually forward report will be transformative for Alberta's facility-based continuing care system and importantly for the care of older Albertans who need designated supportive living and long-term care. Not only will it set a new bar in Canada, it will go a very long way to eliminating the fear that many of us have of one day needing care ourselves."

Carole Estabrooks, professor, faculty of nursing, University of Alberta

I was very glad to provide a continuing care resident’s viewpoint to the facility-based continuing care review. I think the results of the review and implementing appropriate legislation will improve Alberta’s continuing care system. I am glad to see the emphasis on high quality physical and mental health.”

Andrew Jaremko, resident, Chartwell Colonel Belcher Retirement Residence

“This report represents perhaps the most comprehensive and forward-thinking vision for continuing care that Alberta has seen in 30 years. It paints a bold, evidence-based and sustainable plan for the future of continuing care. The recommendations are very much aligned with the perspectives and values shared by CHAA’s not-for-profit, faith-based members over the past years and decades.”

Leah Lechelt, executive director, Christian Health Association of Alberta

“We applaud the Government of Alberta for its broad and engaging consultative approach. It is apparent from the Facility-based Continuing Care Review report that the voices of residents, families, and care providers have been heard. The policy direction and recommendations identified within the report represent a comprehensive and unprecedented vision for continuing care, which when implemented will be transformative and dramatically improve the quality of life and care for seniors.”

Patrick Dumelie, CEO, Covenant Health

Alberta Health contracted MNP LLP through a competitive process to conduct the review and submit a final report to the Minister of Health. The final report identifies 42 recommendations that would transform and modernize Alberta’s facility-based continuing care system.

Alberta’s government will now work with community partners across the continuing care system to develop an action plan for implementation, including exploring future legislative and funding requirements.

Immediate initiatives to address key recommendations

From the input given by Albertans and residents, and the learnings from COVID-19, Alberta Health is taking action to implement several of the recommendations in the report. They include:

  • Providing direction to support couples and companions to remain living together in continuing care facilities, if they choose.
  • Enhancing public reporting on continuing care inspections.
  • Phasing out shared rooms in continuing care facilities, including an immediate halt on admissions to rooms where there are already two residents. 
  • Updating design guidelines for continuing care centres to include learnings from COVID-19 and targeting capital funding to support a greater variety of models for upcoming builds.
  • Providing capital grant funding to support Indigenous groups for continuing care services in the communities where they live.
  • Expanding community care and services options to enable more people to stay at home.

Quick facts

  • Alberta’s government will develop an action plan for implementation based on the report’s findings over the coming months and years.
  • The report indicates the need for continuing care services in Alberta will grow by 62 per cent by the year 2030.
  • Findings from the review show Alberta will need to consider adjusting the types and mixture of continuing care services provided in the future to meet this growing demand, including increasing home care services.
  • The recommendations brought forward stem from:
    • Advice and expertise provided by an expert panel chaired by MLA Richard Gotfried;
    • A review of literature and best practices both locally and across other jurisdictions;
    • A deep dive into existing data regarding Alberta’s continuing care system; and
    • Extensive input from Albertans gathered through stakeholder engagement activities.
  • Citizen and interest group engagement activities included feedback directly from residents and family members, continuing care staff, operators and providers, other key community organizations, as well as members of the public.
    • More than 7,000 online surveys were completed.
    • MNP LLP conducted over 90 interviews and focus groups, virtually or by telephone.