GATINEAU, QC, Nov. 24, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), announced today the release of the National Seniors Council's (NSC's) Report on the Social Isolation of Seniors - 2013-2014, which is now available online.
The Council was tasked in August 2013 with examining the issue of social isolation. Between November 2013 and June 2014, the NSC met with some 300 individuals and organizations from across Canada as part of a series of cross-country and online consultations to assess how social isolation affects seniors and how best to tackle the issue in Canada.
Social isolation touches many aspects of seniors' lives, such as active participation, community engagement, healthy aging, income security and caregiving needs. Social isolation can lead to depression and increased vulnerability to elder abuse, among other concerns. The lack of supportive social networks is linked to an increase in the risk of dementia and cognitive decline.
The ministers recognize the importance of addressing the issue of social isolation, which affects seniors' overall well-being and mental health. The NSC report provides a summary of the consultation findings as well as innovative and promising practices to help address this social problem.
- The NSC advises on matters related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors, including opportunities and challenges arising from their rapidly growing and increasingly diverse population.
- Since 2007, the NSC has undertaken work on elder abuse, the effects of low income among seniors, volunteerism, positive and active aging and intergenerational relations, as well as approaches to attracting older workers to the labour force and retaining them.
- The Government of Canada approved 24 New Horizons for Seniors Program pilot projects—an investment of more than $1.7 million—aimed at addressing seniors' social isolation.
"I would like to thank members of the National Seniors Council for the work they have done to help us better understand the issue of social isolation among seniors in Canada and for proposing measures to help alleviate it. This work will help build on actions already taken by our Government, such as the New Horizons for Seniors Program pilot projects on social isolation."
– The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
"The National Seniors Council's work to combat social isolation among seniors is to be commended. By engaging with seniors across Canada, we can increase quality of life and improve their well-being for healthier and longer lives."
– The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health
"We are confident that the National Seniors Council's findings will help the Government of Canada better understand and address the needs of seniors. Keeping seniors active and socially engaged benefits not just the seniors, but also their communities as a whole."
– Andrew Wister, Chair, National Seniors Council
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 their rapidly growing and increasingly diverse 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 that serve seniors and experts on seniors and aging.
- The Government of Canada established the NSC in 2007 to provide advice on the overall well-being of seniors, now and in the future.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: Earl Maynard, Office of the Minister of State (Seniors), 819-953-1144; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]; Follow us on Twitter; Like us on Facebook