Report aims to guide planners in efficiently using housing resources 

A new study from the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Medicine aims to help healthcare planners provide Manitobans the care they need as they grow older. 

The report, “Population Aging and the Continuum of Older Adult Care in Manitoba”, is intended to build upon Manitoba’s Aging in Place Strategy. Led by Malcolm Doupe, the research provides tools to help ensure supportive housing functions as it was intended – as a step between home-based care and personal care homes. 

Malcolm Doupe

“We’ve created a way to easily identify and more richly describe the different needs that supportive housing and personal care home residents have,” says Doupe, a researcher with the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. “Essentially it helps planners decide who should be receiving care in either supportive housing or personal care homes.” 

Manitoba’s Aging in Place initiative was created in 2004 to expand care options for older adults. Part of this strategy was the development of supportive housing, as an alternative to personal care homes, which combines community living in a secure apartment setting with personal support services. 

“Collectively, this research can help to ensure supportive housing fulfills its role as an alternate to personal care homes and people receive care that matches their needs,” says Doupe. “Knowing the types of behavioral, mental, and physical challenges older Manitobans face when they consider leaving home will help planners to provide care more efficiently.” 

The study also points out that populations across health regions in the province are at various stages of aging. The projected growth in the number of 75+ year-olds (those who predominantly use personal care homes) will vary tremendously across Manitoba. Despite this variance, the report shows that older Manitobans may use only moderately more personal care home beds until about 2020/21. A different story will likely emerge shortly thereafter, however, when Baby Boomers start to reach 75 years old. 

MCHP is a research unit in the Department of Community Health Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Manitoba. Research scientists and their collaborators at MCHP study health services, population and public health, and the social determinants of health using data from the entire population of Manitoba. Most of the research is oriented towards answering questions of interest to policy makers in Manitoba based on a formal association with Manitoba Health and input from other government departments. 

Dr. Doupe is available for interviews. 

The summary and full report will be available for download on Friday, February 18, from http://mchp-appserv.cpe.umanitoba.ca/deliverablesList.html 

For more information, please contact Jack Rach, communications officer,

Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, at 204-789-3669 ([email protected]).