Model neighbourhoods for aging in place

By Carolyn Inch

“If you are like many Canadians, you want to Age in Place in your own home and community. Aging in place means having the health and social supports and services you need to live safely and independently in your home or your community for as long as you wish and are able.” (Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum, 2016)

Given the exponential increase in the number of frail elderly expected in the next three decades, the impact on the public purse will be staggering. Geriatric primary (outreach) care plus coordinated support services (home care, home accessibility and safety modifications, nutrition counselling and exercise support) will improve senior’s quality of life and save long-term health care dollars.

Senior Watch of Old Ottawa South (SWOOS) recognizes that the challenges facing Old Ottawa South are similar in the Glebe and Old Ottawa East. We are reaching out to community associations and newspapers to encourage their residents to participate in our efforts.

SWOOS is conducting consultations and surveys to determine what supports are missing for those who want to spend their life in these communities. We hear repeatedly that primary care is lacking for all ages, and there is not appropriate geriatric primary care available to many who need it. As well, we are becoming aware that home care and community support services and informal caregiver supports need to be improved if people are to remain independent longer.

Recognizing that it is in the interests of both seniors and taxpayers, SWOOS developed A Healthy Age-Friendly Community: Strategy for Improving Health Care and Support Services, designed to recruit volunteers who self-identify during the surveys. Within the next few weeks, working groups focusing on our areas of concern will study service availability and develop action plans to address the gaps that will be encountered by our aging community.

If this is of interest to you, either in terms of volunteering or commenting, or you would like a copy of our strategy, please contact us at

Carolyn Inch is a member of the SWOOS (Senior Watch of Old Ottawa South) Health Working Group.

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