Submission – Ontario’s Seniors Strategy (July 2019)

In May 2019, in anticipation of the Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility’s consultation, the Regional Geriatric Programs of Ontario canvassed clinical leaders from across the field of geriatrics. The purpose was to gather expert insights pertinent to the needs of seniors living with frailty, in order to inform the anticipated Ontario Seniors Strategy. This report summarizes the input received from 65 clinical experts from across Ontario, whose daily work focuses on the unique needs of older people living with frailty, and their caregivers.

Support for Ontario Health Teams in Caring for Older Adults OHTs – Senior Friendly Care

The need for an authentic focus on the goals and aspirations of older people living with frailty (or at risk of frailty) is especially important as health service providers work towards a new model of service delivery as part of an Ontario Health Team (OHT). Older adults living with frailty or at risk of frailty require a specialized, senior-friendly approach to care across the healthcare continuum in order to meet their unique needs. The Regional Geriatric Programs of Ontario are pleased to offer their support as a strategic partner in achieving this goal.

Position Statement on The Need for Expert Clinical Care for Older People Living with Complex Health Conditions

If we are to end hallway medicine, all Ontario Health Teams must demonstrate the necessary policy, clinical and funding focus on older people living with complex and multiple interacting health conditions (including dementia). Each Ontario Health Team must include specific services that focus on this population and engage the appropriate clinical leadership necessary to carry out this work.

Patients First Position Paper

We are concerned that older Ontarians were not a focus of this consultation process, nor included in any significant way in the Patient’s First discussion document. This is despite the Ministry’s commitment to a Seniors Strategy that prioritizes access for seniors to community based supports to enable them to live at home for as long as possible. Given that seniors consume almost 50% of the health care budget and more than 60% of acute care hospital days (including a significant proportion of ALC days), we contend that the priorities of the provincial Seniors’ Strategy should feature prominently in the subsequent plan, demonstrating health system planning reflective and proportional to the position seniors occupy as health care consumers.