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Human Resources for the Aging Population

April 2017

In the fall of 2016, nursing researcher Dr. Suzanne Dupuis-Blanchard, from the Université de Moncton, published a report entitled Portrait de la relève en matière de ressources humaines pour l’offre de services en français à la population vieillissante du Nouveau-Brunswick [Snapshot of the future availability of human resources offering services in French to the aging population of New Brunswick]. The report raised a number of important issues about human resources and the provision of services and care to seniors.

Presenter: Suzanne Dupuis-Blanchard, RN, PhD (Nursing)

CNFS-Université de Moncton Health Research Chair in Population Aging

In the fall of 2016, nursing researcher Dr. Suzanne Dupuis-Blanchard, from the Université de Moncton, published a report entitled Portrait de la relève en matière de ressources humaines pour l’offre de services en français à la population vieillissante du Nouveau-Brunswick [Snapshot of the future availability of human resources offering services in French to the aging population of New Brunswick]. The report raised a number of important issues about human resources and the provision of services and care to seniors. More specifically, 1) high school students in New Brunswick know very little about aging; 2) negative attitudes exist towards seniors; and 3) there is little interest in embarking in a career working with seniors. This lack of interest among students is concerning as the population is aging, the majority of seniors live in the community (92%) and current employees working in home care are getting close to retirement age.

In January 2017, the provincial Council on Aging unveiled a provincial aging strategy. The strategy offers important recommendations on human resources, including the importance of short and long term workforce planning for senior services and care from disease prevention to home care and care facilities. Work conditions and continuing education are recognized as important components.

The goal of this virtual discussion is to reflect and start a discussion on the consequences of a workforce shortage in the context of an aging population and to identify possible solutions.

The following questions should help move the dialogue along:

  1. How can we get young people interested in a career related to aging or working with seniors?
  2. What should be the content related to aging in education programs in schools and in university and college programs?
  3. What roles should nurses play to support the provision of services and care to an aging population?

Archived Comments


Sue (5 years ago)

Content of age related programs in schools, universities…should include the many important,roles and services’seniors’ continue to provide in community past retirement. Sitting on boards, volunteering, visiting, assisting with most community nonprofit programs etc. all too often young people have a misconception of aging
Sure it is important to discuss age related changes, a&p but show them reality. Have seniors with all different perspectives tell their stories…..those with limited income and the real challenges they face, those with more financial freedom..how different their life is..Well seniors vs those with chronic illness and disabilities
Nurses should be the community leaders in helping seniors navigate the system, remain independent, providing some of those necessary assessments and tasks to reach that goal


Sherry (5 years ago)

I have worked in geriatrics my whole career. It has been very rewarding and exciting to see the perception of geriatric nursing improve. I believe that introducing high school students to our program through Co-op programs has been very beneficial. It is good for them to experience the “real world” of nursing in a positive environment. Geriatric Day Hospitals, Geriatric Outreach Teams (assess people in their home environment) and Respite Day Programs for Seniors would be my recommendations to improve the life of seniors living in the community.


David (5 years ago)

There is a common misconception that the elderly will require more care, when there are studies such as one completed in Scotland indicating that seniors on average provide far more care than they receive. Some of this is by visiting others in their home. One of the major issues as I see it is the connections that are missing between the generations. Involving seniors in schools and community activities will change the perceptions. It will also pay dividends for the future generations. Social media and technology are powerful, but the human connection will make the difference


Adéline (5 years ago)

Le vieillissement de la population est une réalité au Canada et au NB . La population vieillissante étant une population qui nécessite de multiples soins et des soins assez lourds il est important que le gouvernement investisse sur l augmentation de la main d œuvre. Il est clair que ça prend une main d œuvre qualifiée infirmières, infirmières auxiliaires, préposés aux bénéficiaires pour assurer de bon soins.
Il faudrait également prévoir dans les parcours scolaires des heures de bénévolat auprès des personnes âgées pour les jeunes. Nous savons bien que les personnes âgées peuvent vivre beaucoup de solitude! Une visite d un jeune pour leur faire de la lecture, une petite ballade , pourrait être bénéfique pour leur bien être.


Virgil (5 years ago)

Au NB, la réalité est que notre population est vieillissante. Les statistiques le démontrent. Il est important pour tout les intervenants, incluant le gouvernement de mettre les efforts nécessaire afin de continuer d’avoir une main d’oeuvre intéressée et qualifié pour les besoins de cette population. Beaucoup de domaines peuvent aider. Que se soit au niveau de l’éducation de nos jeunes ou de la préparation de nos professionnels, il est important de créer l’intérêt pour ce domaine qui est de plus en plus présent dans notre belle province.