Canada has an aging population. By 2016, individuals over the age of 65 will account for a larger share of the population than children aged 0-14. Therefore, programs and services to support older adults are valuable and necessary. Fortunately, both the federal and provincial governments appreciate this need and are implementing programs to support the health and well-being of older adults. The recent Action for Seniors report provides a comprehensive inventory of federal programs and services that are accessible to older adults, their families and caregivers. The programs and services were compiled by over 22 federal departments, reflecting the diverse scope of issues that impact older adults, from combatting abuse to ensuring financial security.
The Government of Canada also has an entire website devoted to providing seniors and their caregivers with a comprehensive overview of resources available to them. It also includes links to helpful resources such as the McMaster University’s Optimal Aging Portal; a website that provides information on healthy aging.
In Ontario, the Seniors Community Grant Program aims to enable older adults to remain socially connected and active in their communities. Social connectedness improves resiliency and helps older adults cope with life challenges, such as decreased mobility, chronic health conditions, and loss of loved ones.
CMHA Ontario continues to monitor and raise awareness around issues that impact older adults’ mental health and well-being. CMHA Ontario partners with organizations like Health Nexus and Canadian Pensioners Concerned and, together advocate for improving services and supports for older adults in communities across the province.