The purpose of an elder health framework is to identify the essential elements that must be addressed in the development of provincial policy and integrated services for older persons in Ontario. It outlines the principles and policy directions that must be considered in any decision that affect older persons in Ontario.
In May 2004, Ministers Smitherman and Gerretsen committed in writing to an elder strategy and an elder health framework for Ontario. They also agreed to have the Elder Health Elder Care Coalition act in an advisory capacity to the development of such a framework. Building on and incorporating the work of the paper titled: Ontario Needs A Framework for Elder Health, April 2004, this paper outlines the key elements of an elder health framework for Ontario.
The development of such a framework is fundamental to a shift in policy that truly addresses the needs of older persons in Ontario. The consequence of continuing along the present course is and will continue to be a huge personal and economic burden faced by all Ontarians- not only the elderly.
By 2025, one in five Canadians will be 65 years or older.
An elder health framework orients policy and service delivery decisions based on the inherent values of ageing in place and choice for older persons.
It provides the blueprint for services that are integrated, interdisciplinary, tailored to need, and focused on early intervention and prevention. Built on the principle that older persons can and should remain autonomous and active as they age, a framework supports the view that older persons are a “resource to their families, communities and economies and therefore supports the health of the community at large.