For more than 25 years, the Village of Winston Park has welcomed seniors into its long-term care and retirement neighbourhoods, always seeking to offer the best holistic care possible in an environment that truly feels like home.
Much has changed in that time in terms of how society approaches seniors living and long-term care, and Winston Park and its 18 other sister communities that followed within Schlegel Villages have worked hard to be at the front of these positive changes. It was fitting, then, that on Nov. 17 Winston Park hosted Daiene Vernile, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener Centre, as the Ontario government announced its new strategy to meet the future needs of Ontario’s aging population.
“Seniors in Kitchener-Waterloo want to know that the province is there for them to provide supports and services that meet their needs,” Vernile said. “Ontario’s new plan is the best roadmap for supporting seniors at all stages of their lives.”
Recognizing that the population of people over the age of 65 in Ontario is expected to double in the next 25 years to some 4.6 million souls, the government developed Aging with Confidence: Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors. The plan intends to create more choice for seniors, increasing the options they have available as they decide how best to meet their individual needs as they age. Investments in homecare, “naturally occurring” retirement communities and 5,000 new long-term care beds in the next four years are the centrepiece of the action plan. Beyond that, the government will add 15 million hours of nursing, personal support and therapeutic care for long-term care residents annually while working to add up to 30,000 LTC beds in the next 10 years.
"This news will have positive effects on the residents we serve at Winston Park and across Schlegel Villages as a whole,” said Schlegel Villages Chief Operating Officer Paul Brown. “It is responding to the needs of seniors in our long-term care and retirement Villages across the province and older adults as well as their caregivers in the communities that surround our locations.”
The significant investments involved in the announcement include a dementia strategy and a plan to connect more young people with seniors through volunteerism and mentorship. For many within Schlegel Villages, Aging with Confidence is a natural extension of the social model of living that is central to the organization’s philosophy.
“The investment that is being made on the ground for seniors to live better is very much aligned with who we are as a family organization,” said Jamie Schlegel, President and CEO of Schlegel Villages. “This investment will allow more Ontario seniors to take control of their health care decisions, live within a vibrant, caring community, connect with other age groups and ultimately enjoy a high quality of life."