Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Two more partners endorse the Principles to Guide Health Care Transformation in Canada

OTTAWA, Ontario April 22, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) announced today that the Société Santé en français and FADOQ – Outaouais region have just added their names to the list of organizations supporting the Principles to Guide Health Care Transformation in Canada.
This brings to 136 the number of organizations that have lent their support to the founding principles for creating a patient-centred health care system.
"It is with great pleasure that we welcome these new partners. This shows the interest of these organizations and their members, and therefore the public, for transforming the health care system," said Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, president of the CMA. "Creating a patient-centred health care system must be a priority for everyone: health care professionals, patients, community organizations, and governments."
The principles were developed in 2011 by the CMA and the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) to guide the transformation of the health care system in Canada. They include ensuring that the public health system in Canada provides quality care, is sustainable, equitable, accountable, and patient-centred, and that greater emphasis is placed on prevention. (Click here to read the principles.)
"The Société Santé en français has worked for over 10 years to ensure equitable access to health care services for the minority Francophone population. We are therefore keenly aware of the link between social status and health," said Aurel Schofield, president of the Société Santé en français." In this sense, the principles created by the CMA and the CNA reinforce the action of the Société and its networks, which are joining the many national partners who aim to transform the Canadian health care system in order to foster universal access to quality care centred on patients and their communities."
"The social contract of the Réseau FADOQ presented in the Outaouais in October 2013 aligns well with the principles of quality of care and life. For over 40 years, FADOQ has been defending the rights and quality of life of our seniors," explained Lise Desaulniers, president of FADOQ – Outaouais region. "The principles stated by the CMA and the CNA are fully consistent with our values and our mission; therefore, we are joining with these many partners to show a united front in order to foster universal access to quality care centred on patients and their communities."
The Société Santé en français (SSF) and its member networks actively contribute to the healthy development of Francophone and Acadian communities who live in a minority setting, through a quality health care system that respects their cultural, social and linguistic values.
Joining FADOQ (Outaouais region) means adopting a positive attitude toward life and ensuring that your wellness and that of other seniors is a priority in our Outaouais community. Our mission is to break the isolation among people 50 years old and over by promoting physical, intellectual, social, recreational and outdoor activities, to help them maintain their independence as long as possible. With 20 affiliated clubs and more than 8,000 members in the Outaouais, we have great visibility with the public, in the regional media and in various activities.
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 80,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 60 national medical organizations. CMA's mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care.

Monday, April 21, 2014

There is No Cure for Aging - So Embrace It

A TV ad is circulating an important message: “Aging isn’t an illness, but a way of life.”
Age UK’s “Love Later Life” ad aims to reshape society’s view on aging. The video features a poem by Roger McGough that encourages people to seize the day and enjoy the adventure of aging.

Watch Age UK's new cinema ad, encouraging everyone to embrace ageing and seize the day. The advert features a poem by acclaimed poet Roger McGough and is voiced by actor Sir Christopher Lee. 
For more inspiration, head for www.ageuk.org.uk/lovelaterlife

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ontario Brain Institute and its partner institutions invest $28.5 million to foster better understanding and management of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS and others

  • Five-year program brings together 54 investigators, 12 clinical sites, 17 universities and hospitals, 6 industrial partners, 4 patient advocacy groups, and 600 patients.
  • Part of OBI's multi-million dollar Integrated Discovery Program encouraging collaboration among all parties associated with neurodegenerative brain disorders.

TORONTO, Ontario April 16, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Ontario Brain Institute will invest $19 million in new funds over the next five years on the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative Integrated Discovery Program (ONDRI). Partner institutions will contribute another $9.5 million to the program, bringing the total investment to $28.5 million. The program uniquely brings together researchers, doctors, industry representatives, patients and their advocates to study a range of neurodegenerative disorders.
"At the end of the day what we're doing is going to have an impact on the patients of Ontario. And those patients are served through a variety of routes, not just the medical system. The ONDRI program has positioned itself to have broad impact by involving the expertise of patient advocacy groups and industry partners along with clinicians and researchers," says Dr. Mike Strong, Lead Investigator of the ONDRI program.
Neurodegenerative disorders affect hundreds of thousands of Ontarians alone. There is an urgent need to accelerate the pace of discovery and commercialization of tools required to prevent, diagnose, and treat these diseases.
ONDRI is one of a series of five OBI-funded programs that encourage stronger collaboration among all parties associated with a particular brain disorder or group of brain disorders. Neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS or Lou Gehrig's, frontotemporal lobar dementia, or vascular cognitive impairment present a variety of different symptoms, but new research suggests they may hold common underlying threads.
"By studying these disorders as a group, the potential for break-through discoveries is maximized as data is shared across disorders, and findings in one area provide clues to others," says Dr. Don Stuss, President and Scientific Director of OBI. 
Watch the ONDRI video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3inYYcdmhn8
More details on ONDRI may be found here:
The Ontario Brain Institute is a provincially‐funded, not‐for‐profit research centre seeking to maximize the impact of neuroscience and establish Ontario as a world leader in brain discovery, commercialization and care. The OBI creates convergent partnerships between researchers, clinicians, industry, patients, and their advocates to foster discovery and deliver innovative products and services that improve the lives of those living with brain disorders.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

David Mirvish Reappointed University of Guelph Chancellor

GUELPH, Ontario April 14, 2014 - University of Guelph News Release - David Mirvish has been appointed to a second term as University of Guelph chancellor. U of G's Senate approved the reappointment April 7, extending his tenure until March 2018.
Mirvish, a Canadian theatre producer, art collector and lifelong supporter of the arts, was first appointed U of G’s chancellor in February of 2012. He the eighth chancellor since the University’s founding in 1964.
As chancellor, Mirvish presides at convocations, confers all University degrees and acts as an ambassador. As the University’s senior volunteer, he represents its interests to all government levels.
Mirvish owns and operates Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre, Princess of Wales Theatre, Ed Mirvish Theatre (formerly the Canon Theatre) and Panasonic Theatre. Mirvish Productions has produced plays and musicals for these and other venues.
Mirvish ran David Mirvish Gallery, which supported contemporary art and Canadian artists, and operated an art bookstore for 38 years.
He has been named to the Order of Ontario and to the Order of Canada, the country’s highest honour for lifetime achievement, and has received honorary degrees from several universities. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Canadian government introduces the Digital Privacy Act, which will provide added protection for seniors against financial abuse

OTTAWA, Ontario April 9, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Digital Privacy Act, introduced yesterday in Parliament, will help to protect seniors from fraud and financial abuse, announced the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors).
The Government tabled a new bill in Parliament that will include measures to address rising concerns about financial abuse of seniors. The new legislation will allow banks and other organizations, to notify officials or a client's next of kin if they suspect that an elderly client is the victim of financial abuse.
Currently, financial institutions must obtain an elderly client's consent before disclosing information to prevent or investigate abuse, for example where a joint account holder may be financially abusing a senior. Under the new legislation, the financial institution will be allowed to make a report if there is reason to believe that fraud or financial abuse may be taking place. This will make it possible to notify authorities and help protect seniors from financial abuse.
Officials at Industry Canada, with the support of Employment and Social Development Canada, will work together with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to provide guidance to banks and other affected organizations about factors to be considered in using their discretion in this area and about related best practices.
The Government is actively addressing elder abuse through awareness campaigns, the New Horizons for Seniors Program, and the Protecting Canada's Seniors Act, which came into force in January 2013.
Quick Facts
  • The Digital Privacy Act amends the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, which sets the rules private sector organizations must follow when collecting, using or disclosing personal information in the course of commercial activity.
  • The Protecting Canada's Seniors Act helps ensure consistently tough penalties for those who take advantage of elderly Canadians.
  • Some sources suggest that between 4 and 10 percent of older adults in Canada experience some form of abuse. It is also estimated that only one in five incidents of abuse is reported.
"Elder abuse is an appalling crime and our government is committed to protecting seniors from all forms of abuse. I fully support the proposed changes to strengthen Canada's private sector privacy law and provide added protection for seniors against financial abuse." 
-The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Seniors care anxiety could swing next federal election, Nanos poll says

OTTAWA, Ontario April 8, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - Almost six in 10 voters in 26 key ridings across Canada say they would support another party if their current political brand fails to make seniors care a priority in the next federal election, says a Nanos Research poll released today.
Commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), the poll of 2,000 Canadians was conducted in the 26 ridings that reported a razor-thin margin of victory of 3% or less in the 2011 federal election. The targeted age group of respondents 45 years of age and older was selected because of increased likelihood of voting and engagement in health issues and decisions.
"Politicians should take heed," said Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, CMA president. "How Canada cares for its aging population is very much on the minds of baby boomers as they grow older. And older Canadians vote."
Canadians aged 45 and older formed 64% of the vote in the 2011 election. The proportion of Canadians aged 65 and over is expected to rise from its current 14% to almost 25% in 2036.
Among the poll's findings:
  • Only 23% of respondents in the 26 ridings think Ottawa is ready for the future health care needs of the aging population — even though seniors now account for almost half of the costs of the health system.
  • Eighty-seven per cent of the respondents believe political parties should make the issue of seniors care a top priority in the next federal election, slated for October 2015.
  • Almost nine in 10 respondents (87%) support the position of Canada's physicians and nurses on the need for a panCanadian strategy on seniors care.
  • Among preferences for managing the extra demands for seniors, 42% supporting reduction of other budgets. Next came a tax sheltered savings plan 37.6% of respondents.
Of the 26 ridings, three are in Nova Scotia, four in Quebec, 10 in Ontario, five in the Prairies and four in B.C. andYukon.  See infographic on healthcaretransformation.ca.
"Clearly there is anxiety about seniors care among older voters," said Nik Nanos, president of Nanos Research.  "It may have been off the federal radar for a few years but any party that ignores this issue risks being seriously offside with a key voter segment."
The poll was released on Parliament Hill at the CMA's annual Doctors in the House lobby breakfast.
Margin of error for the poll, conducted between March 30 and April 2, was plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 80,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 60 national medical organizations. CMA's mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care.
Click here for polling results

Monday, April 7, 2014

Canadian Red Cross honours its volunteers during National Volunteer Week

OTTAWA, Ontario April 7, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - This week, the Canadian Red Cross celebrates all volunteers during National Volunteer Week, April 6-12. Every year, Red Cross volunteers generously donate their time to improve the lives of those in need across Canada. "This is an opportunity to honour and thank the vast network of volunteers who are an integral part of the Society, contributing to our humanitarian work that is carried out in communities from coast to coast," said Conrad Sauvé, Secretary General and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross.
With over two million Canadians benefiting from Canadian Red Cross programs and services each year, the value that volunteers bring to the organization is incomparable. This team of passionate and dedicated individuals provides a sense of support and protection to the most vulnerable people. More than 20,000 volunteers provide a significant impact on each and every program and service that the Canadian Red Cross offers.  
"Canadian Red Cross volunteers demonstrate a high level of commitment to the organization," added Sauvé. "The strength of the relationship between the Canadian Red Cross and its volunteers is one of the most unique and important measures of success of this Society."
Volunteering with the Canadian Red Cross provides an opportunity to give back to communities, meet new people, and can help enhance career paths. To identify volunteer opportunities in your community, visitwww.redcross.ca/volunteer
The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 189 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Our mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.    

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Statement by the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), on National Volunteer Week

OTTAWA, Ontario April 6, 2014­ /Canada NewsWire/ - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), today issued the following statement to mark National Volunteer Week, which takes place April 6 to 12, 2014:
"Every day, millions of Canadians shape this country through their volunteer work. In Canada, there are 161, 000 not-for-profit and charitable organizations. More than half of these organizations have no paid staff and rely almost completely on volunteers. Wherever there is a need, there are people willing to lend a hand.
National Volunteer Week recognizes these Canadians who show their compassion, generosity and commitment to communities across our country. Whether it is visiting seniors, canvassing for funds or preparing meals, they are making a difference.
My department promotes volunteerism through a number of programs. They include: the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which supports projects led or inspired by seniors who make a difference in the lives of others; the Social Development Partnerships Program, which forges partnerships with organizations to tackle social issues; and the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards, which I had the pleasure of handing out last month in Toronto. The awards recognize individuals, businesses and organizations for their contributions in improving the well-being of families and their communities.
I encourage you to take the time this week to thank a volunteer, and I look forward to recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments of Canada's 13.3 million volunteers at the National Volunteer Week Reception in Ottawa onWednesday, April 9. Their selfless efforts are not only making Canada a better place to live, they are creating a legacy of giving that will last for generations to come."
Nominations for the next Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards are now being accepted until May 9, 2014. For more information about the current call for nominations, please visit www.pm.gc.ca/awards or call 1‑877‑825‑0434.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Statement by the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), on National Caregiver Day

OTTAWA, Ontario April 5, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), today issued the following statement to mark National Caregiver Day, which takes place April 5, 2014:
There are currently 6.1 million employed Canadians who are providing informal caregiving to a family member or friend due to chronic or long-term illness, disability or aging. The number of caregivers will continue to grow given our aging population.
On National Caregiver Day, please join me in recognizing all caregivers, who are dedicated in providing quality care, support and compassion to Canadians, particularly seniors and older Canadians.
In particular, the Government of Canada understands the sacrifices many Canadians make to care for their family members. We are already helping Canadians who are providing care to loved ones through the Family Caregivers Tax Credit, Employment Insurance Special Benefits for those caring for a dying relative or a critically ill child and a newInformation for Caregivers portal on the seniors.gc.ca website.
Economic Action Plan 2014 further demonstrates the Government's commitment to caregiving by announcing plans to launch a Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan to better support employees balancing both work and caregiving responsibilities.
Please join me today in thanking all caregivers across our country for their ongoing efforts, compassion and devotion in assuring quality care for our loved ones.
Thank you,
The Honourable Alice Wong, P.C., M.P.
Minister of State (Seniors)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Wellington County Launches 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan for Guelph and Wellington

WELLINGTON COUNTY, Ontario April 4, 2014 - The County of Wellington launched its 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan today to a crowded room at the Welcome In Drop In Centre in downtown Guelph.

“We need to be working closely with all of our partners if we are going to meet our housing and homelessness goals,” commented Warden Chris White. “It was great to see so many of our partners here today to support the launch of the Plan.”

The 10 Year Plan is titled “A Place to Call Home” and it provides a roadmap for achieving a community vision where “Everyone in Guelph Wellington can find and maintain an appropriate, safe and affordable place to call home.” The Plan outlines 8 strategic goals, 38 different actions as well as short and long term targets.

“Developing our Housing and Homelessness Plan has been a very positive community process,” said Stuart Beumer, Director of Ontario Works at the County. “I would like to especially thank the members of our Community Reference Group that provided leadership and guidance throughout the project.”

The Drop In Centre is a major provider of emergency shelter services and housing supports in Guelph and they opened their doors to host the launch. The event was designed to include contributions from members of the Drop In community who have struggled over the years with housing challenges. Information was also shared about exciting new initiatives that are happening at the Drop In to better address the challenge of homelessness in our community.

Attention now turns to implementation of the Plan and the County has already started work on developing an action focused homelessness strategy that is anticipated to be rolled out in June of 2014.

“There is a lot of excitement and commitment from our community partners to improve services and outcomes for individuals and families that are at risk of homelessness,” remarked Beumer.

The plan, outlining the eight key goals, is available on the County’s website,