MONTRÉAL, Dec. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - Members of the National Seniors Council
(NSC) met today in Montréal with seniors organizations, service and
health providers, researchers and practitioners to assess how social
isolation affects seniors and how best to tackle the issue in Canada.
"Social isolation affects the overall well-being of seniors including
their health and their participation in their families, workplaces and
communities," said the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State
(Seniors), who oversees the day-to-day work of the Council. "Our
government is working hard to tackle issues like social isolation by
listening to seniors and consulting with key players from the
non-profit, public and private sectors."
The Council met with individuals and organizations from across Quebec as
part of a series of cross-country round tables. Social isolation
touches many aspects of seniors' lives, including active participation,
healthy ageing, income security, caregiving, elder abuse and
transportation. For example, social isolation can lead to depression
and increased vulnerability to elder abuse, among other concerns.
Statistics Canada's Canadian Community Health Survey (2008/2009) found
that 19 percent of seniors aged 65 or over felt a lack of
companionship, left out or isolated from others.
"We are confident that the National Seniors Council's findings will help
the Government of Canada better understand and address the needs of
seniors," said Dr. Andrew Wister, member of the NSC. "Keeping seniors
active and socially engaged benefits not just the senior, but their
communities as a whole."
Since 2007, the NSC has undertaken work on elder abuse and on the
effects of low income among seniors, volunteerism and positive and
active ageing. Most recently, it explored approaches to retaining and
attracting older workers in the labour force.
On October 1, 2013, National Seniors Day, the Government of Canada
announced a Call for Proposals to fund approximately 20 pilot
projects—an investment of $2 million—aimed at addressing seniors'
For more information on the NSC, visit www.seniorscouncil.gc.ca.
This news release is available in alternative formats on request.
IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC
VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.
The National Seniors Council (NSC)
The NSC advises on matters related to the well-being and quality of life
of seniors, including the opportunities and challenges arising from a
rapidly growing and increasingly diverse seniors population.
The Council reports to the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of
Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism,
and to the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health. The Honourable
Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), is responsible for the
day-to-day operations of the Council.
NSC members include seniors, representatives of organizations who serve
seniors and/or experts on seniors and ageing.
The Government of Canada established the NSC in 2007 to provide advice
on the overall well-being of seniors, both now and in the future.
The Government of Canada is working hard to help improve the lives of
seniors on many fronts. These efforts include:
redeveloping seniors.gc.ca as a central resource for seniors including a new Information for Seniors section that brings together a variety of federal,
provincial/territorial and municipal resources about relevant programs
providing Canadians with close to $76 billion this year through Canada's
public pension system;
a top-up to the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) in 2011 to help
Canada's most vulnerable seniors. This was the largest increase in 25
years to the GIS for the lowest-income seniors. This measure further
improves the financial security and well-being of more than 680 000
seniors across Canada;
providing $2.7 billion in 2013 in tax relief to seniors and pensioners
through measures such as pension income splitting and increasing the
providing $400 million over two years under Canada's Economic Action
Plan for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors;
making a strong investment in the New Horizons for Seniors Program
(NHSP) through an annual budget of $45 million. Since 2006, the NHSP
has funded more than 11 200 projects in hundreds of communities across
investing up to $2 million for approximately 20 pilot projects that will
address the isolation of seniors and intergenerational learning through
actions to address elder abuse, including awareness campaigns, projects
funded by the NHSP to raise awareness of elder abuse and legislation to
help ensure consistently tough penalties for offences involving the
abuse of elderly people; and
supporting positive and active aging through the collaborative
Age-Friendly Communities Initiative, Physical Activity Tips for Older
Adults and falls-prevention initiatives.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information:
For further information (media only):
Director of Communications
Office of Minister of State (Seniors), Alice Wong
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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