Ontario's Action Plan for Seniors - Part 2: Healthy Seniors

These days, Canadians are living longer. With Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors, Canadians can add safer, healthier and happier to that statement.

A Senior Couple Stretching Together

The Ontario Action Plan for Seniors was developed with the ideal in mind that all citizens are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. That ideal, and the onset of a rapidly increasing 65+ demographic, were the driving factors in the implementation of a new action plan that could improve the quality and equality of retirement living.

In part 2 of the series we continue to explore the action plan, which was launched in January 2013, and its’ new long-term initiatives which focus on three pillars of development:
Part 1: Safety and security
Part 2: Healthy seniors
Part 3: Senior-friendly communities

Part 2: Healthy seniors

The meat of the action plan really lies in the initiatives designed to promote better health, and improve the healthcare system for seniors. No segment of the population requires more healthcare than seniors. With the implementation of this action plan, the provincial government has taken a large step towards ensuring all seniors get the healthcare they need, when and where they need it.

Some of the key initiatives include:

Improved Exercise and Fall Prevention Programs

In Ontario, falls are considered a leading cause of preventable injuries in seniors, often resulting in avoidable emergency visits, hospitalization, and even premature long-term care placement. Active seniors are less likely to become ill, and less likely to fall. Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors will see an improvement and increase in the number of programs across the province to ensure seniors have a range of readily accessible programs available to them.

For more information on the importance of staying active, check out this video on Comfort Life TV!

Expanding “Short-Stay” Long-Term Care Services, Enhancing Long-Term Care

Sometimes seniors recovering from an injury or illness temporarily require the staff, services and atmosphere of a long-term care facility. The action plan is expanding these “assess and restore” services across more long-term facilities in Ontario, providing easier access and more rooms for seniors in need.

The Ontario Action Plan for Seniors has a proposed amendment to the “Long-Term Care Homes Act” stating all communities must report critical incidents involving the injury of a senior to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. This change in legislation will help the ministry to ensure seniors are getting the proper support, protection, and care they need. As well, the amendment includes improvements to staff training and resident safety, abuse and neglect prevention, and advanced quality of care for residents with special care needs.

Find Long-Term Care facilities in Ontario here.

Health Links

Anyone who has had a complex medical condition has experienced the difficulties and frustrations of dealing with multiple healthcare providers, bouncing from the family doctor, to a hospital, to a specialist, answering the same questions over and over. Health Links are part of a new, innovative strategy designed to improve the flow of information for patients with complex medical conditions, coordinating the efforts of multiple healthcare providers for a single patient, and streamlining the process. Health Links will protect patients by removing the chance of gaps or duplication in the care provided.

Ultimately, Health Links will benefit patients in the following ways:

• No longer need to answer the same question from different providers
• Have support to ensure they are taking the right medications appropriately
• Have a care provider they can call, eliminating unnecessary provider visits
• Have an individualized comprehensive plan, developed with the patient and their care providers who will ensure the plan is being followed

Health Links are just a step in the ongoing process of improving the co-ordination and flow of information between healthcare providers in Ontario. For more information on Health Links, click here.

Also check out - Part 3: Senior-Friendly Communities
Incase you missed it - Part 1: Safety and Security

Written by Justin Szostak, Our Kids Media


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