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Ontario Supporting Seniors to Live Their Best Life

New Action Plan Provides More Fairness for Seniors in Kitchener-Waterloo and Enhances Support Across the Province

Every person in Kitchener-Waterloo and across the province should benefit from the opportunities that Ontario has to offer, no matter their age.  That’s why the province is taking action to make sure that all seniors are able to access the support they need at every stage of their life.

 

MPP Daiene Vernile of Kitchener Centre was at The Village of Winston Park, a Schlegel Villages facility, today in Kitchener to discuss Aging with Confidence: Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors.  

 

The plan empowers people to make the choices that are right for them when it comes to their care, their independence, and how they access government services — whether that’s finding ways to keep up an active lifestyle or getting the support needed to live at home longer.

 

The number of seniors in Ontario is forecast to double to 4.6 million within the next 25 years — and Ontario aims to become the best place in the world to grow older.  Aging with Confidence focuses on areas that seniors say they care about most, including living independently for as long as possible and staying connected through social, recreational and volunteer activities.  

 

To ensure communities like Kitchener-Waterloo are ready for the changing realities of an aging population, the plan also expands the number of long-term care (LTC) beds across the province, while increasing staffing levels and support for LTC home residents.

 

The new action plan offers:

 

  • A one-stop website where seniors — about 70 per cent of whom go online every day — can find information about tax credits, drug coverage, powers of attorney, recreation programs and more. Seniors will also be able to get information over the phone in more than 150 languages.
  • An annual high-dose influenza vaccine, targeted to protect seniors, will be available free of charge as part of the Ontario Universal Influenza Immunization Program.
  • Support for “naturally occurring” retirement communities by investing more than $15 million over two years for apartment buildings or housing developments where many seniors already live close to one another.
    • More volunteering opportunities connecting seniors and youth, fostering learning and mentorship while reducing older people’s risk of social isolation.
    • 5,000 new LTC beds over the next four years and 15 million more hours of nursing, personal support and therapeutic care annually for residents in LTC homes, as well as a 10-year plan to create more than 30,000 new beds over the next decade, working with the long-term care sector.

 

QUOTES

“My mom is 89 and my dad is 91 — so my family and I know, on a very personal level, how important it is to Ontario’s two million seniors, and their families and friends, that we empower older people to navigate this next phase of life with dignity and as much independence as possible. Through Aging With Confidence, we are doing our very best to help seniors continue to live life to the fullest as part of Ontario’s healthy and vibrant communities.”
–– Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

“Over the last year I’ve travelled across the province meeting a diverse array of seniors, who are as vibrant as the province itself.  Aging with Confidence is a broad plan to support seniors at all stages of life. Seniors have spent a lifetime contributing to their communities and to the economy. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that their changing needs are met.”

— Dipika Damerla, Minister of Seniors Affairs

 

“After a lifetime of working hard and building Ontario up to the thriving society it is today, we owe it to Ontario seniors to support healthy aging and ensure they enjoy a high quality of life. By investing in the health care services and supports that ensure seniors stay independent, healthy and active, all of Ontario will continue to benefit from the tremendous knowledge, compassion and experience that seniors have to share.”

–– Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

 

“Seniors in Kitchener-Waterloo want to know that the province is there for them to provide supports and services that meet their needs.  Ontario’s new plan is the best roadmap for supporting seniors at all stages of their lives.  This investment will have a positive impact on the growing seniors community in Waterloo Region.”       

–– Daiene Vernile, MPP Kitchener Centre   

 

"We support the government's Aging with Confidence announcement which will significantly increase the number of LTC beds over time in the Province to serve the needs of our growing seniors population.  The increase in nursing, personal support and therapeutic hours will allow LTC providers to meet the care needs of seniors with increasingly acute and complex conditions.  As well financial support for naturally occurring retirement communities and creating more opportunities for connecting seniors and youth are very positive initiatives.  This investment will allow more Ontario seniors to take control of their health care decisions, live within a vibrant, caring community, connect with other age groups and ultimately enjoy a high quality of life."  

–– James Schlegel, President & CEO, Schlegel Villages

 

 

"This news will have positive effects on the residents we serve at Winston Park and across Schlegel Villages as a whole.  It is responding to the needs of seniors in our long term care and retirement Villages across the province and older adults as well as their caregivers in the communities that surround our locations. Our hope is this Action Plan will help seniors and their families easily access the resources they need at times when they need it most."

–– Paul Brown, Chief Operating Officer at Schlegel Villages

 

“I speak with seniors daily in my work at Schlegel Villages.  What I hear most is their hope to remain safe and healthy with a meaningful lifestyle in their own home as long as possible.  "Aging with Confidence", along with the implementation of "a Dementia Strategy" with its focus on these issues, may be just what is required to allow this to happen with the resources to support a meaningful, engaged journey for our seniors in their later years.”

–– Barb Sutcliffe, Director of Lifestyle Options at The Village of Winston Park

 

 

QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario is investing $155 million over three years through the action plan.

 

  • Older adults make up Ontario’s fastest-growing age group. There are now more people in Ontario 65 or older than under 15.

 

 

  • Almost half of seniors are worried about being alone. Social isolation is a risk factor for an array of negative outcomes among older people, including elder abuse, a higher risk of falls, hospitalization and depression.

 

  • Aging with Confidence builds on Ontario’s 2013 Action Plan for Seniors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEARN MORE

Aging with Confidence: Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors

New one-stop website for seniors

Guide to programs and services for seniors

Find a long-term care home

Where to get the flu shot

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