Ontario's Action Plan for Seniors
Ontario has developed an Action Plan for Seniors that will address the needs of seniors and their families.
Organized under three pillars, the plan draws on new and existing programs and initiatives to ensure that seniors and their caregivers have access to the services they need, when and where they need them.
Healthy Seniors: Help seniors find and access services they need to be healthier and stay at home longer
- Designate 250 long-term care beds as short-stay beds, and continue to look for ways to expand the program in the long-term care, community and hospital sectors.
- Improve access to home care by expanding personal support worker services through community support agencies for low-needs patients.
- Create as many as 75 Health Links — networks of linked health care providers — to encourage greater collaboration and co-ordination in patient care for high-needs seniors.
- Through Ontario's increased support for house calls, encourage primary care physicians to provide about 30,000 more house calls per year and expand the service to include other health providers, such as nurse practitioners.
- Provide more care at home by expanding personal support worker services through community support service agencies. This will help provide care at home for 90,000 more seniors.
- Re-introduce legislation that will, if passed, give employees up to eight weeks of unpaid, job-protected time away from work to care for a family member with a serious medical condition.
Senior-Friendly Communities: Promote services and policies that enhance seniors' well-being and participation
- Increase the number of Active Living Fairs in Ontario and explore how to expand Ontario's network of Elderly Persons Centres to ensure that seniors have access to places in their community that promote healthy, active aging and wellness.
- Distribute a Life Lease Resource Guide throughout Ontario to provide information on opportunities and promote awareness of consumer protection issues related to this type of tenure.
- Provide a one-stop information source for seniors that will be accessible online (www.ontario.ca/seniors) and by phone (1-888-910-1999) to provide explanations of the various programs and services that are available and easy-to-understand instructions on how to access them.
Safety and Security: Improve programs, services and supports that help seniors live safely, independently, and with dignity
- Develop mandatory annual training for uniform members of the Ontario Provincial Police on elder abuse and share this training with other police services and community agencies.
- Work with the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly to gather new data on elder abuse in Ontario to inform future elder abuse prevention initiatives.
- Provide a one-time investment of $20 million for safety improvements in long-term care homes.
- Implement a wandering prevention program to help families living with Alzheimer's and other related dementias.
- Require homes to report all critical incidents involving injuries where a resident is admitted to hospital, and all environmental hazards that affect the care, safety or well-being of residents for a period greater than six hours.
- The Office of the Fire Marshal will develop information and resources to enable home support workers to address basic fire safety issues in their clients' homes, such as smoke alarms and home escape planning.
- Increase education about powers of attorney to help seniors make informed choices about how to manage affairs should they become mentally incapable.