In the last 15 years, Canada’s population grew by about 5 million people – from a little bit over 30 mil people in 2001 to a bit over 35 mil people in 2016. With the median age of Canadians now at 40.6, the growing age brackets are 45 to 64 and 65 and older, and yes, 90 and older. Great news – we are now living longer!
However, when we get older, health issues may start to appear. Most of us are familiar with arthritis and how debilitating it can be. So far, the only sure way to get rid of it is to have a joint replacement.
If we look at the numbers of joint replacement surgeries, those have increased as well – as probably expected. According to Canadian Institute of Health Information, the total number of hip replacement increased by 17.8% from 2012 to 2017 and the total number of knee replacement went up by 15.5% in the same five year period.
The good news is that medical advances in joint replacement allow for minimum downtime nowadays. Although not yet widely available in all Canada, same day hip and knee replacements offer benefits. They minimize recovery time and pain and get you back to normal faster. Robotics aid in performing many surgeries nowadays. They allow for a more precise placement of the implant that leads to faster recovery and less room for surgical error, hence complications.
Impact on the Employers
If your employees are over 45 you will probably feel the impact of arthritis and its painful progression on your bottom line. Employees performance and productivity can be affected and the absenteeism may go up. What can you do to prepare?
Employers can help their employees get the minimally invasive joint replacement by offering Health Spending Accounts or covering a percentage of the surgery, should an employee choose to have it done privately, in Canada or the US.
Employers can also implement strategies that focus on safety, ergonomics, and wellness. These programs will contribute to preserving joint health for employees of all ages. A supplemental health insurance that covers physiotherapy will help a person pay for the expenses associated with rehab
You are probably wondering if you will be waiting longer for a joint replacement surgery. It is not unreasonable to think so. The number of surgeries is going up, and the aging population is growing. Some provinces are investing in hiring more orthopedic surgeons to keep the wait times down.
One way to address the wait list issue is to obtain it privately. It is an investment in yourself and will get you moving and healthy faster.
As for the individual responsibility staying within healthy weight can prevent joint replacement. We wrote another blog about the relationship of weight and joint replacement. If surgery is your only option, be prepared to go through rehab. Local support groups are sometimes a good way to socialize with others who had the same surgery.
If you are interested in learning about private minimally invasive joint replacement surgery, Health Vantis can help. Reach out to us at toll-free 877 344 3544.