November 8, 2017

Yesterday, the Ontario government released Aging with Confidence: Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors.  The plan includes commitments to a range of measures intended to support seniors including enhancing municipal services.  Ontario will be investing $155 million over three years through the action plan. This will include improving long-term care homes, supporting age-friendly communities, and providing additional services to seniors.

It is welcome news to see new government investments in seniors’ services and planning initiatives.  AMO has advocated for: increased hours of care in long-term care homes; enhancing culturally appropriate practices; engaging in a capacity review to determine the need for more long-term care beds; better transportation options in rural and northern areas; and, expansion of age-friendly programs that support municipal governments to provide services to seniors.

A full set of recommendations can be found in AMO’s Health Task Force policy paper, Strengthening Age-Friendly Communities and Seniors’ Services for 21st Century Ontario: A New Conversation about the Municipal Role.

Of significant interest to municipal government, the Province has committed to:
  • expanding 30,000 new long-term care beds over the next decade with 5,000 created over the next four years;
  • providing 15 million more hours of care in long-term care homes for nursing, personal support, and therapeutic care;
  • facilitating greater access to culturally appropriate practices in long-term care homes and in-home supports;
  • providing specialized training in behavioural supports and in palliative and end-of-life care;
  • expanding the Age-Friendly Community Planning Grant for municipal governments;
  • improving community transportation for seniors to connect them with services and support, particularly in Northern Ontario; and
  • reconfirming the commitment to expand 40 more Seniors Active Living Centres across the province (formerly known as Elderly Persons Centres). Municipal governments and community agencies can apply for funding through Grants Ontario.
Other measures in the plan are intended to:
  • support seniors at all stages of their life;
  • support seniors to live independently in their communities;
  • support seniors requiring enhanced supports at home and in their communities;
  • support seniors living independently in the community; and,
  • support seniors who require intensive supports.
For more information, see the Ontario government’s news release or view the full action plan.