Federal, Provincial and Territorial (F/P/T) Ministers Responsible for Seniors agreed to focus on four priorities by working with their respective provincial, territorial and federal colleagues. These priorities are: championing innovative responses to the needs of seniors in the areas of living arrangements and housing, and transportation; identifying and helping to prevent elder abuse, especially financial abuse; promoting active participation in the community through employment or volunteering; and improving access to government services and benefits.
The Ministers tasked senior officials to advance work on these priorities and report back to them.
The Ministers shared their respective best practices to address the opportunities and challenges of an aging population. They also agreed to take leadership to support the well-being of Canada's seniors, and agreed on future priorities to guide their work.
"I welcome the opportunity to meet for the first time with my provincial and territorial colleagues," said the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors) and federal co-chair of the meeting. "These discussions contribute to our efforts to both anticipate and respond to the evolving needs of an aging society."
"I am honoured to have hosted and co-chaired this year's meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for seniors in Hamilton, Ontario," said Sophia Aggelonitis, Minister Responsible for Seniors for the Province of Ontario. "It has been a very productive meeting and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues across the country to help ensure that our seniors are able to remain healthy, active and safe in their communities."
Ministers reviewed research on housing and support services that help seniors to age in the place of their choice and within age-friendly communities. They also discussed their shared concern regarding all forms of elder abuse, and agreed on the importance of addressing this issue. Their talks centred on the prevention of financial abuse, one of the most commonly reported forms of elder abuse.
Seniors make up a growing proportion of our population. In fact, the first of the baby boomers turn 65 this year and, in 25 years, nearly one in four Canadians will be a senior. With this demographic shift in mind, the Ministers looked at the range of perceptions, values and needs among seniors and near-seniors.