Myths and Realities About Health Care for an Aging Population

23rd Annual Health Policy Conference | February 22-23, 2011

The Canadian population is aging. In 2011, the leading edge of the baby boom turns 65 – with the great bulge of that generation to follow. That simple fact has focused important attention on some key realities such as the likely major increase in Canada’s dependency ratio. But it has also spawned a dizzying number of assertions, myths, half-truths and misunderstandings about the implications of aging for our health care system. These tend to deflect attention away from the very serious decisions that will need to be made over the coming decades.


February 22
8:30am | Welcome from the Co-chairs

Patricia Baird, University of British Columbia [Slides]

9:00am | Opening Plenary: Myths and Realities About Demographics

Jay Olshansky, University of Illinois [Slides]
Alan Cassels, University of Victoria [Slides]

11:00am | Session I: Will Aging Bankrupt the Health Care System?

Michael Wolfson, University of Ottawa [Slides]
Stephen Duckett, University of Alberta [Slides]

12:00pm | Lunch Presentation
1:15pm | Session II: Is it Possible (or Sensible) to Differentiate Health and Social Care?

John Sloan, University of British Columbia [Slides]
Jon Glasby, University of Birmingham [Slides]
Vasanthi Srinivasan, Ontario Health Systems Strategy Division [Slides]

2:45pm | Session III: Aging in (What) Place?

Carole Estabrooks, Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Translation [Slides]
Tine Rostgaard, Danish National Institute of Social Research [Slides]
Neena Chappell, Department of Sociology at the University of Victoria [Slides]

February 23
8:30 am | Session IV: Whose Death is it Anyway?

Hsien Seow, Cancer Care Ontario Research Chair [Slides]
Dr. Michael Dolan, Internal Medicine Physician [Slides]
Hon. Sharon Carstairs, P.C., Liberal Senate Forum

10:30 am | Session V: Is aging a disease?

Matthew Farrer, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics [Slides]
Ross Upshur, University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics [Slides]

12:00 pm | Closing Plenary

Steven Lewis, Health Care Consultant, Saskatoon