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By Denise Lemire

On November 27, 2018, Denise Lemire, a member of CNPEA's board of directors, participated in a round table organized by Rachel Blaney, NDP MP in Ottawa. No less than 25 stakeholders were there to discuss the challenges and solutions to improve the quality of life of Canadian seniors. The group comprised representatives from national organizations related to housing, Alzheimer's disease, health, research, social services, pensions and many more.

Many potential solutions were identified. Here are just a few of them:

  • Encouraging more intergenerational projects (and even developing intergenerational neighborhoods) and community projects;
  • Developing more awareness campaigns on a variety of topics related to seniors (eg, ageism, abuse, fraud, loneliness, health) - attitudes need to be changed (eg, seniors are not a burden on society);
  • Create more opportunities to educate seniors about these topics. Older adults are not always aware of the services and programs available in their community - we need to find ways to inform them so they know who to turn to when needed.
  • We need to develop more networks and provide financial support for them.
  • Increase financial support to help expand services and programs for seniors (expand the New Horizons funding program for instance)
  • Take into account specific challenges such as linguistic and financial challenges for older immigrants.

Over the years, several calls for a national strategy have emerged; there is a need for an overall vision, hence the importance of establishing a National Seniors Strategy, as advocated by the NDP.  All stakeholders present agreed that now is the time to face challenges and to identify new models (eg in Scandinavia), and new ways of doing things. 

CNPEA made the following recommendations (also sent to Rachel Blaney, Member of Parliament for North Island - Powell River, to Philomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors and Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada):

  • Recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all answer:  The word “seniors” fails to  acknowledge the variety of people, life experiences, and age groups -spanning over four decades- currently living in Canada.
  • Develop national awareness campaigns about ageism and elder abuse 
  • Place emphasis on improving social inclusion of older adults: Develop strategies to fight social isolation and combat ageism. Encourage the development of age-friendly cities and intergenerational initiatives. Develop and expand caregiving, housing and transportation support and solutions.
  • Provide sustained financial support for CNPEA: We want to be able to pursue our mission of connecting and sharing knowledge across provinces and territories; offering easy access to valuable information and initiatives that can be adopted and applied across the country, while preventing redundancy; and fostering dynamic collaborations to guarantee that older adults can have a safe, healthy and enjoyable later life.

Ideas or comments for Denise or for CNPEA? Send us an email!



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