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Government Programs for Seniors

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The Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments, often working in partnership, have a number of programs specifically directed at seniors. Some of these programs are highlighted here:

National Framework on Aging: The Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors established a National Framework on Aging (NFA) in 1994, to assist all levels of government in Canada in responding to the needs of this demographic. Designed as a voluntary Framework, it has as its core, a shared Vision Statement and Principles endorsed by seniors and governments across Canada.[8]

The National Advisory Council on Aging: The National Advisory Council on Aging is a national organization with a mandate to assist and advise the federal Minister of Health on all matters related to the aging of the Canadian population and the quality of life of seniors.

Seniors Policy and Programs Database: A collaborative Federal / Provincial / Territorial initiative has established a comprehensive database of policies and programs of which seniors are the primary beneficiaries. It also provides demographic data on the status of older persons in Canada including information on employment, gender issues, health, housing, income, religion, technology, volunteerism and culture, leisure and travel, and crime victimization.[9]

Income Security Programs: Almost all Canadian seniors receive income through Canada’s Public Pension Program. Basic financial support is also available to survivors and individuals who become too disabled to work and their children. These are made available through the Old Age Security (OAS) program and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat: The provincial secretariat assists the Minister responsible for Seniors to ensure other sectors of government, government-funded agencies and the public are sensitized to the needs and concerns of Ontario's 1.5 million seniors, and to the challenges to government and society posed by a rapidly aging population.

Assistive Devices Program (Ministry of Health and Long Term Care): Financially assists Ontario residents with long term physical disabilities to obtain basic, competitively priced, personalized assistive devices appropriate for the individual's needs and essential for independent living.

Day Programs for Seniors: May range from community based social activities, exercise classes and educational courses to assistance with personal care and meals. Actual activities offered vary from region to region according to the needs and interests of seniors.

Community Care Access Centres: There are 42 community care access centres in the province of Ontario. These organizations provide a simplified point of access to long-term care for seniors, for example, arranging visiting health and personal support services in peoples' homes; arrange access to long-term care homes; and, provide information and referrals to the public about other community agencies and services.

In-Home And Community Supports: For seniors with moderate care needs who wish to “age in place”, home and community support services provide flexible and practical solutions. These services are available in the home or at other locations within the community. Services can be obtained individually or in combination.

Long Term Care Facilities: In Ontario, three main types of residential settings provide both accommodation and care for seniors: supportive housing, retirement homes and long-term care homes. Each setting offers different types of accommodations and varying levels of service.


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