Supporting Seniors and their Families through Consultations Across Ontario
Feedback Collected to Support a New Government-Wide Seniors’ Strategy
July 22, 2019
TORONTO – Ontario is committed to helping seniors stay healthy, active and socially connected within their own communities. Many seniors face challenges accessing programs and services that support their safety, mental and physical health, and overall well-being.
That’s why, over the last six weeks, the government met with hundreds of seniors, their families, caregivers, and organizations who support and care for them, through consultations held across the province, which concluded on July 19.
“This summer I had the privilege of listening to seniors, their families, caregivers and the organizations who care for them.” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “Thank you to the thousands of people who took the time to share their ideas and wisdom – whether in person or online – we heard you.”
A whole of government approach was taken to host the consultations. Local government officials met with hundreds of seniors, their families, caregivers and the organizations who support them in their communities across the province.
An online survey was also available, translated into 12 additional languages, to receive feedback from diverse, ethnic, Indigenous and multicultural communities. The government received over 7,800 online surveys, and more than 6,200 were from individuals 65 and older, and between the ages of 55 and 64.
Feedback from the consultations and online survey will inform a strategy to help seniors:
- Age at home and in communities;
- Remain healthy, active and socially engaged;
- Stay safe and secure, and
- Participate in the labour market and economy
“Our government has the highest regard for seniors and their families, and we are committed to protecting what matters most to them,” said Cho. “We are carefully reviewing all of the feedback collected, and it will be used to develop a cross-government strategy to help improve the lives of seniors.”
Supporting seniors is about investing in our own futures. The government believes that everyone should be able to age strong, in an Ontario that is open to all. A government-wide seniors’ strategy that will help improve the lives of seniors is expected to be released in fall 2019.
- Current estimates predict that the seniors’ population will grow to over 3 million by 2023 – about 400,000 more seniors than today.
- Ontario is home to the largest community of immigrant seniors in Canada.
- Social isolation is a key risk factor for elder abuse and hospitalization among seniors, with thirty per cent of Canadian seniors at risk of becoming socially isolated. Being active helps to reduce risks of dementia, anxiety and depression.
- There are more than 300 Seniors Active Living Centre programs across Ontario. These community-based centres provide programs and services to promote wellness, social interaction, and education to help seniors stay active, independent and engaged.