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Alberta signs continuing care agreement with federal government

A continuing care facility in an undated photo. (CTV News Edmonton) A continuing care facility in an undated photo. (CTV News Edmonton)

Alberta will receive $627 million from Ottawa over five years for continuing care, the two governments announced on Thursday.

According to officials, who announced the deal called "Aging with Dignity" in Edmonton, the money consists of $280 million over four years for home and community care services and $347 million over five years for long-term care.

Provincial health minister Adriana LaGrange said Alberta is bracing for a growing seniors population while making improvements that were recommended in recent reviews of its health system.

"Right now, one in seven Albertans are 65 years of age and older. Within the next 25 years, that will be one in five will be 65 years or older. That will mean about 1.2 million Albertans within 20 years will be over the age of 65," LaGrange told reporters.

"That (funding) is going to have a huge impact not just in urban areas but also in our rural communities – particularly in rural communities, you're very connected to your family members, to your network of supports, and people want to stay in place, to age in place in their communities. So how do we make sure there are supports in place, how do we make sure that the infrastructure is there? Those are the things that we are tackling."

According to Lagrange, the funding will be dispersed to care providers to be used for operations, as well as bolstering the workforce.

As part of the agreement, the province is required to report to the federal government how the money is being spent.

Over three years, Alberta is expected to spend $1 billion on transforming its continuing care system, including implementing the new Continuing Care Act, which came into effect April 1, and expanding non-medical supports that enable people to age in their home or community. Top Stories


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