Shelley Scott, executive director, Flamoborough Information and Community Services
A couple of months ago, I mentioned that Ontario was moving forward in developing its Seniors Care Strategy, which will help older Ontarians stay healthy, live at home longer and receive the right care, at the right time and in the right place.
A report on the Seniors Strategy, Living Longer, Living Well was released and below are highlights taken from a lengthy list of recommendations submitted to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
• Promote health and wellness: The Government of Ontario should actively portray and promote healthy aging and the benefits of staying active in one’s older age through physical activity, volunteer work, continuous learning, and meaningful employment.
• Strengthen primary care for older Ontarians: The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MHLTC) should promote and develop mechanisms in accordance with legislative and regulatory frameworks to advance the goal that all older Ontarians who want a primary care provider will have one and maintain and improve funding levels to support the provision of house calls by primary care providers.
• Enhance the provision of home and community care services: The MHLTC should at least maintain its commitment to increase home and community sector funding by 4 per cent for this current year and the next two years and is encouraged to invest future budget increases and savings achieved through efficiency gains into its home and community care sector.
• Improve acute care for elders: The MHLTC, in collaboration with other agencies, should explore the development and expansion of Community Paramedicine programs across Ontario, especially in northern and rural communities.
• Enhance Ontario’s long-term care home environment: The MHLTC should undertake the development of an evidence informed capacity planning process to meet the needs of current and future eligible long-term care populations and others who could be better supported in supportive housing, in assisted living residential environments, or in their own homes with home care.
Submitted by Shelley Scott at Flamborough Information and Community Services, 905-689-7880.