In June each year, communities across Ontario recognize Seniors’ Month to celebrate the contributions seniors make to our local communities. 2016 is the 32nd anniversary of Seniors’ Month in Ontario and this year’s theme is “Seniors Making a Difference.”
About 14% of Waterloo Wellington residents are age 65 or older and we recognize the unique health care needs of seniors in our community. That is why we have placed intentional focus over the past few years on improving health care options for seniors by increasing access to high-quality, equitable services across all sectors of the health system.
- The numbers of seniors in Ontario is projected to more than double by 2036
- It is estimated that by 2017, for the first time, seniors will account for a larger share of population than children aged 0–14.
- Percentage of Senior Population by Sub-region geography
- Waterloo Wellington Overall – 14%
- Wellington – 15.9%
- KW4 – 13.4%
- Cambridge North Dumphries – 12.8%
- Guelph - 13.4%
- 8,295 seniors in Waterloo Wellington have 4 or more chronic conditions
- Waterloo Wellington has 36 funded long-term care homes
- Waterloo Wellington has 27 Community Support Service organizations providing services to seniors
More Access to Long-Term Care
In 2015, we were pleased to announce the opening of The Village at University Gates, a new long-term care facility in Waterloo. The 192 bed facility represents a 54% increase in the number of long-term care beds in the City of Waterloo.
Long-Term Care Redevelopment
Additionally this year, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced plans to redevelop long-term care homes across the province. Redevelopment projects will include upgrades like improving accessibility with greater wheelchair access and modernizing design to create a home-like environment. Work on the redevelopment of three local facilities will begin in 2016.
Innovation in Long-Term Care
Recognizing the need for more efficient and coordinated care for resident in long-term care, the Waterloo Wellington LHIN funded a new and innovative way to provide primary care to those in long-term care.
Through a partnership between Carressent Care Arthur, Carressent Care Harriston, Carrensent Care Fergus and Saugeen Valley Nursing home, two newly hired nurse practitioners will spread their hours across these four Wellington County long-term care homes and provide essential primary care to residents.
Day Programs for Seniors
Across Waterloo Wellington there are 12 health service providers with day programs available to local seniors. The programs provide important social support to residents and provide respite to the family members who often care for them.
We are particularly proud of the Young Onset Dementia Association (YODA) program which is operated by Seniors’ Services, Region of Waterloo at the Sunnyside campus in Kitchener. The program provides residents with early onset dementia and their families with support and respite.
Expansion in day programs across Waterloo Wellington has resulted in 1,600 more seniors having access to these supports.
Exercise and Falls Prevention
The Waterloo Wellington LHIN began funding exercise and falls prevention classes in late 2013. In 2015, as part of the health system’s ongoing commitment to ensure equitable access to health services, an opportunity was identified to support local, French speaking seniors by providing exercise classes in French. In partnership with the Centre communautaire francophone de Cambridge, Community Support Connections hired bilingual gentle exercise facilitators and were able to begin French language gentle exercise classes in February of 2016.
Local Seniors Month Events
- Friday, June 3, 2016 Summer Sizzler Dance
Evergreen Seniors Community Centre
683 Woolwich Street, Guelph
- Friday, June 3, 2016 Annual Creative Aging Marketplace
9:30 am – 11:30 am
Cambridge City Hall – The Bowman Room
50 Dickson St, Cambridge
Cambridge Council on Aging
519-623-1713 ext. 226