Old Ottawa South Community Association

What the Ottawa Centre candidates will do to support aging in place

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Senior Watch Old Ottawa South (SWOOS) has reached out in person and in writing to ask each candidate in the three major parties what she/he will do to support aging in place and keep us healthy, independent (with or without supports) aging and contributing to society and out of ERs and Long Term Care.

The question SWOOS asked is similar to the proposed question in the letter writing campaign.  

Considering your party's platform, what would you do to support aging in place and increase the supply of both primary care and home care in Ottawa Centre?

The first response came from NDP candidate Joel Harden, the second from PC candidate Scott Healey. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, and past the deadline, SWOOS did not receive a response from the Liberal candidate Katie Gibbs.

Although two of the three party platforms on aging in place are available here, it is still very important that concerned residents write the candidates about the lack of family doctors or nurse practitioners providing primary care and the inadequate nature of home care in our community. Elections provide a rare opportunity to voice your concerns as the candidates are listening.

Joel Harden, NDP (incumbent) Scott Healey, PC

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed a disaster hiding behind the walls of Ontario’s home and long term care. The Ontario NDP believe that the home is the healthiest, happiest place for aging loved ones and that our seniors deserve home care that makes home safe for as long as possible. Homecare workers want to deliver good care, but a patchwork system of short-staffed for-profit companies leads to inadequate care and often forces seniors into long term care that they don’t need.

MPP Harden and the Ontario NDP are committed to improving home care. They will invest an additional $1 billion and will establish provincial standards for home care. They will create culturally appropriate resources and training, so seniors can receive care from someone who understands their culture and language and they will bring in a community based, not for profit home care system, ending for-profit home care. Finally, the Ontario NDP will turn home care PSW jobs from temporary gigs into full-time careers, with decent wages and benefits, which will in turn provide better care for seniors.

In making these changes, MPP Harden and the Ontario NDP will help keep our aging loved ones out of the hospital and nursing homes, and allow them to live at home, where they feel most comfortable.

Previous governments have not done enough to build a better future for seniors in Ontario and we’ve known for years that older adults represent the fastest growing age group in Ontario. Our vision for the future is of respected, informed and engaged older adults living in an age-friendly city. As the MPP for Ottawa Centre and in the next PC Government, I would recognize and am committed to supporting and working with local community neighbourhood associations in the aid of seniors. The Senior Watch Old Ottawa South and the Council on Aging of Ottawa are key resources identifying issues and solutions.

PC Government has delivered, is on track to do more, a re-elected PC government will keep delivering and improving programs and services that enhance quality of life for Ontario’s older adults according to their needs and preferences.

The government introduced the Ontario Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit for 2021 and 2022 to help seniors who want to stay in their homes, surrounded by the friends and families they cherish. The credit, worth 25 per cent of up to $10,000 in eligible expenses, helps cover the costs of handrails, stair lifts and other modifications to make homes safer for seniors. The maximum credit is $2,500 for each year. The credit will assist up to 32,000 Ontarians in 2022, with an estimated $65 million in support over 2021 and 2022.

For affordable homecare the government is making additional investments in home care by planning to invest up to $1 billion over the next three years to improve quality of care and keep the people of Ontario in the homes that they love, longer. Seniors aged 70 and older will receive help with eligible medical expenses, including expenses that support aging at home. The Ontario PC Party proposes a new, refundable Ontario Seniors Care at Home Tax Credit. In 2022, the new credit would provide an estimated $110 million in support to about 200,000 low- to moderate-income senior families.

There must be available support to ensure the investments in care are sustainable, this care is with Personal; Support Workers (PSW) and Direct Support Workers (DSW); since October 1, 2020, the government has invested more than $1.3 billion to provide a temporary wage enhancement to more than 158,000 PSWs and DSWs providing publicly funded services in hospitals, long-term care, home and community care and social services.

A PC government will work to fulfil its commitment to introduce a permanent PSW and DSW wage enhancement by investing approximately $2.8 billion over the next three years. The permanent wage enhancement will help to continue these important supports in the long-term recovery from the pandemic and to build a stronger and more resilient health care system that is better prepared to respond to crisis.

A re-elected PC Government will continue to support a stronger and resilient healthcare system in Ontario. More investments to hospital infrastructure; $100 Million over the next three years will also stabilize and enhance sustainability for community services to support the well-being and independence of over 600,000 people in Ontario. This increase will help to expand
community care programs such as adult day programs, meal services, transportation, assisted living services and caregiver supports. This increase funding supports the redevelopment of the Ottawa Civic Hospital where a new modern facility will house better regional trauma centre and care for growing city.

As the Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa Centre I will share the vision to our Premier where the future is of respected, informed and engaged older adults living in an age-friendly Ottawa, an MPP sitting outside of government cannot have that same impact. A re-elected PC government is committed to tackling ageism and building and maintaining the age-friendly community and city features that support healthy aging and as the next MPP for Ottawa Centre I would champion better seniors care and continue the work this government has done the past four years to improve and invest in our healthcare after 15 years of neglect.


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