Year: 2020 Source: International Psychogeriatrics. (2020). DOI: 10.1017/S1041610220000708 SIEC No: 20200375

Like other developed countries, Canada has an aging population, although less so than most other G7 nations. Of a total population of 35 million people, 16.9% are aged 65 years or older (Statistics Canada, 2017a). Although the virus responsible for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) can affect persons of any age, older adults are particularly vulnerable to serious infection and death (Verity et al., 2020), because of an age-related decline in immune function and the likelihood of having more pre-existing health conditions than younger individuals (Nikolich-Zugich et al., 2020). Moreover, although only 5% of Canadian seniors live in long-term care homes (LTCH) (nursing homes) (Statistics Canada, 2017b), residents of LTCH have accounted for a disproportionate number of infections and deaths due to COVID-19 in Canada (Hsu & Lane, 2020). As of mid-April 2020, more than 40% of COVID-19 related deaths in Canada had occurred in LTCH (Hsu & Lane, 2020).