Premier Kathleen Wynne recently announced a $155 million dollar strategy to address the ageing population on November 7, 2017.
The focus of the 20-point plan called Aging with Confidence is to improve services and strategies for seniors and retirement community development. Changes are set to begin as early as January 2018. What will the future of healthcare look like in Ontario for current and future ageing populations?
New Standard of Care
Improving the current conditions of healthcare is no small feat, especially when addressing a minimum standard of care in retirement residence development.
As a start, the government is planning to increase the hours of direct care residents will receive in long-term homes for four hours a day. Furthermore, $500 million dollars is planned to be spent over four years to create 5,000 new long-term care beds and 30,000 more over the next decade.
Continuum of Services Model
Wynne addresses in the province’s new plan that "there is a continuum of services and care and support that we need. Our plan will provide support in a wide array of areas." What exactly does this mean? Highlighted below supports that will likely be key to those of us, (arguably all of us), who are set to benefit from this new strategy.
An Age-Friendly Community Planning Grant program will include implementation streams helping to make communities more accessible and include the elderly in familiar and unsegregated settings.
Increase Senior Active Living Centers
Currently, there are approximately 260 living centres province-wide. The hope is to increase this number by 40, meaning there will be over 300 centres providing seniors with a range of social, recreational and wellness programs aiming to improve their overall health.
Support for more naturally occurring retirement communities
As part of the Aging with Confidence, there will be continued support for naturally occurring retirement communities including apartment buildings and housing developments aimed at retaining a mixture of all age groups.
The Local Health Integration Network will be exploring new ways to expand support for seniors who live in these communities by providing on-site services allowing individuals to stay in their homes longer, enjoying a higher quality of life as they are able to maintain their independence. Furthermore, the LHIN will be addressing the diversity of Ontario’s ageing population by recognizing individual communities with specific ethnocultural backgrounds to ensure culturally appropriate care.
Niagara’s ageing population serviced
The Aging with Confidence plan looks to be a promising province-wide, including here in our own local Niagara community. If you’re looking to be apart of the new strategy or want to find out more about opportunities in Niagara retirement homes and communities development, get in touch with Greg Chew today!