AGE-WELL welcomes the Ontario government’s release of Aging with Confidence: Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors. The plan outlines how Ontario will support seniors at all stages from maintaining their independence and staying active to accessing services and long-term care. This plan is a follow up to the 2013 Action Plan for Seniors.
The new plan aims to help seniors age well and confidently by:
- Making information about programs and services (e.g. drug coverage, recreation programs) easier to find through a “one-stop” website
- Expanding the Age-Friendly Community Planning grant and improving transportation
- Supporting seniors living independently by increasing the number of Active Living Centres and connecting seniors with youth volunteers to enable their use of technology
- Increasing support for caregivers through a new organization that will provide supports and resources including local programs and peer support
- Promoting innovation in long-term care homes by introducing technologies including ones that facilitate virtual consultations with specialized professionals
As Canada’s technology and aging network, AGE-WELL is contributing to these efforts by developing an array of technologies that can be implemented in individual homes, retirement residences, and long-term care environments. Some examples of these technologies include:
- A wearable sensor system that can transmit sophisticated information about mobility patterns and falls. This system delivers early warning signs for falls, and provides real-time feedback to assist in exercise and rehabilitation.
- A computer-guided virtual gym that delivers personalized exercise instruction and feedback to promote physical and cognitive health among older adults. A prototype is being evaluated in retirement homes in Edmonton and Fredericton. The virtual gym is also intended for home use.
- Digital games designed to enhance social connectedness, reduce loneliness and encourage life-long learning among older adults. Solitaire Quiz, the first in a series of digital games, is now available online in English and French at Android and Apple stores and through Facebook.
AGE-WELL supports the Ontario government’s commitment to improving the lives of seniors and we look forward to exploring how we can continue collaborating to ensure the success of the Action Plan.
AGE-WELL was launched in 2015 through the federally funded Networks of Centres of Excellence program.