Recommendations from Dr. Sinha’s report of interest to the municipal sector include:

  • The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care should support Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) to develop more positive and collaborative relationships with their respective municipal councils to increase the number of and strengthen the role of Elderly Person Centres (EPCs) in Ontario.
  • The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, in partnership with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Ministry of Community and Social Services, should encourage the development of more Assisted Living and Supportive Housing Units as alternatives to Long-Term Care Home placement for those who would benefit most from these environments.
  • The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, in collaboration with Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and municipal Emergency Medical Services (EMS) programs should explore the development and expansion of Community Paramedicine programs across Ontario, especially in northern and rural communities. These programs could better support high-users of EMS to avoid emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations and potentially delay entry into a long-term care home as well.
  • The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, in partnership with the Ministry of Transportation and through partnerships with Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), Municipalities and Community Support Sector agencies, needs to further enhance the development and availability of non-profit, safe, dignified, and consumer-oriented transportation systems for older Ontarians across urban and, wherever possible, rural communities as well.
  • The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care should require each Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to  
    • appoint a member of its executive team to oversee the implementation of the Seniors Strategy; and 
    • establish a steering committee with a broad base of representation from local health, social, and community care providers, including public health and paramedical providers, local municipal officials, designated French Language Health Planning entities, patients, and  caregivers, to help discuss and plan opportunities to further develop and implement services for older Ontarians in their regions.
Through supporting the development of elder friendly communities, Dr. Sinha also states, “we also learned that building the strong communities that we desire will require partnerships between municipal governments and the province, especially around the provision of accessible and affordable housing, transportation and health care options that will support more Ontarians to age in the place of their choice.” Further, he goes on to add that through the implementation of the strategy, “Ontario will need to work on with its municipal, federal, provincial, and territorial partners to also help advance the needs of older Ontarians and Canadians.” 

Dr. Sinha did not address in his report how these programs would be funded. AMO is supportive of the development of a senior’s strategy in Ontario but not as an additional responsibility for property taxpayers.

AMO will continue to raise these issues with provincial and federal government representatives.
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