Providing Supports to Help Seniors Remain Independent and Socially Connected
Ontario is investing in an innovative new program that helps seniors stay at home longer and gives them the assistance they need to age comfortably in their chosen community.
The province is supporting naturally occurring retirement communities, which are apartment buildings or housing developments where many seniors already live close to one another. New funding will provide more on-site services to meet seniors' needs in a minimum of 44 communities, including culturally appropriate care. These types of communities promote social interaction and fight isolation, allow residents to stay in their homes longer and enjoy a higher quality of life and a greater level of independence.
This investment will expand or improve access to supports that seniors need such as social and recreational programs, public health services like flu shots, community paramedicine, coordinated transportation, as well as supports for daily living such as meal preparation and other homemaking activities.
The government is also improving life for more seniors and helping them stay at home longer, by:
- Expanding OHIP+ to make prescription drugs free for everyone 65 and over, starting in 2019.
- Investing $650 million in new funding over three years to improve home and community care services. This includes $180 million for more personal support hours, more nursing and therapy visits and respite care.
- Creating the Seniors' Healthy Home Program to help those over 75 offset the costs of living independently with a $750 annual credit.
The government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.
- The province is investing $8.8 million to support a minimum of 44 naturally occurring retirement communities across the province over two years.
- Funding will be allocated to Local Health Integration Units (LHINs) that will partner with seniors and local community groups to make sure appropriate social, health, and community supports and services are made available, including consideration of culturally appropriate care.
- Seniors (65 years and older) are the fastest-growing age group in Ontario. By 2041, it is projected that 25 per cent of Ontario’s population will be 65 years or older, almost doubling from 2.3 million seniors in 2016 to 4.6 million seniors.
- Ontario has committed $34.5 million over three years to expand community dementia programs.