Media Advisory: Population stats indicate need for Elder Health Strategy

TORONTO, March 22 /CNW/ - Figures by Statistics Canada underscore the urgency for governments to consider the health needs of seniors over 65 because projections show this segment is poised to outnumber children within the next five years.

Members of the Elder Health Coalition are scheduled to meet tomorrow and will be joined by the ministers responsible for the health and seniors portfolios. The organizers say the numbers reinforce their push for an overall strategy to ensure the health and well-being of seniors is a top priority.

"Society owes older persons a debt of gratitude because they helped build this country," says Doris Grinspun, co-chair of the Elder Health Coalition and executive director of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario. "They must be considered a priority for community programs and support networks that allow them to remain healthy and independent as vibrant members of our communities."

"This meeting of minds is a wonderful opportunity for us to share our ideas about how we can continue to bring about the improvements we need in seniors' health services," says Gerda Kaegi, co-chair of the Elder Health Coalition and executive committee member of the Ontario division of Canadian Pensioners Concerned.

During the day-long session, members of the coalition will also meet with government policy-makers to discuss how issues in mental health and addictions and pandemic planning affect seniors.

    WHO:    -  Doris Grinspun, Executive Director, Registered Nurses'
               Association of Ontario (RNAO)and Co-chair of the Elder Health
            -  Gerda Kaegi, Executive Committee Member of the Ontario
               division of Canadian Pensioners Concerned and Co-chair, Elder
               Health Coalition
            -  Hon. Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
            -  Hon. Gerry Phillips, Minister Responsible for Seniors

    WHAT:   The 8th Annual Elder Health Think Tank presents "Towards an Elder
            Health Strategy"

    WHERE:  Sheraton Centre Hotel, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto,
            BoardroomsB & C

    WHEN:   Tuesday, March 23, 2010 from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The Elder Health Coalition represents 30 provincial umbrella organizations, whose aim is to create and shape healthy public policy for older persons.

SOURCE Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview with Ms. Grinspun or Ms. Kaegi, please contact: Marion Zych, Director of Communications, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO), 158 Pearl Street, Toronto, ON, (416) 408-5605 (office), (647) 406-5605 (cellular)

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