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seniors

Long-term care needs action now, not in 2025

in Opinion by
Senior and staff at a long-term care facility

Just last month, many unions and health advocates for long-term care were initially ecstatic to learn that the Ontario government was finally taking the necessary steps to improve quality of care for seniors in Ontario.

The government announced it would establish a new standard that would ensure that residents in nursing homes receive an “average of four hours of direct care, every day,” up from the 2.75 hours of care they receive now on average.

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Reader says Ford’s pro-development bills are hurting environment, seniors

in Letters to the Editor by

There is an old adage that goes way back in time and that has been used by political leaders of all stripes. That adage is, ‘never waste a good crisis.’

The basic premise is that in times of crisis the public’s attention is almost totally focused on the crisis at hand, and a government in power can often push through legislation that would normally get much more scrutiny and public attention/outcry, were it not for the singular focus on the given crisis. War is a good example of this.

Our current crisis is, of course, COVID-19. Our provincial government under Premier Doug Ford has made good use of this technique in 2020, largely through omnibus bills where legislation is hidden, often under the guise of dealing with the pandemic.

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Local residents take action to improve long-term care

in Community/Health by
Senior and staff at a long-term care facility

Concerned local residents from Haliburton County and Kawartha Lakes have banded together to form the Haliburton-CKL Long-Term Care Coalition to campaign for changes to nursing homes and how residents are cared for in Ontario and nationally.

“So many of us have had experiences with the long-term care system,” notes Haliburton community resident, Bonnie Roe. “COVID-19 has laid bare what we have all known for a long time – there’s an urgent need for improvement.”

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United Way distributes emergency funding supporting senior programs

in Community/Seniors by
Senior and staff at a long-term care facility

United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes has announced that it will distribute $49,278.00 in emergency funding to several organizations in the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton.

This funding was made possible by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program. United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes thanks the Government of Canada for their continued support during this time, and for increasing supports for individuals age 55 and older.

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Castle Keep a casualty of COVID-19’s ‘perfect storm’

in Business by
Castle Keep a casualty of COVID-19 ‘perfect storm’
Graham Bashford at his office in the Cambridge Mall.

On March 17, the Ontario government declared a state of emergency from COVID-19 – and that’s when Graham Bashford’s reality was turned upside down. Overnight, Bashford’s Castle Keep Retirement lost 40 per cent of its business. It then started to bleed 10 per cent per day after that, the “perfect storm,” as he calls it, that would take down his eight-year-old Lindsay company which had relied on a steady need for mobile senior care.

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Council extends paramedic pilot program for seniors for nine months

in Municipal/Seniors by
Kawartha Lakes launches Community Paramedic Pilot Program
Registered nurse Christina Janke discusses patients with paramedic Julie Milne.

At the regular council meeting on March 19, council extended the community paramedic pilot program that was set to expire at the end of the month.

The program was created to help reduce patient re-admission with a focus on seniors at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay.

The paramedics have completed the first six months of the program with significant positive outcomes for patients. At the last committee of the whole meeting, Councillor Doug Elmslie asked staff to present options for continuing to fund the program.

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Valentia-based miniature horses bring joy to local seniors

in Community/Seniors by
Patti Sheppard with one of her miniature horses. Photo: Geoff Coleman.

Nearby, and soon, a horse named Red, Mia, or Max will enter a seniors’ home or a homeless shelter wearing a diaper and booties.

I am not making this up.

The horse — actually a miniature — will be under the care of Valentia’s Patti Sheppard, and is part of a unique form of equine therapy where the animal is brought right into a facility giving residents the chance to interact with it.

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Province must step up to ensure continued success of innovative paramedic pilot for seniors

in Health/Municipal by
Kawartha Lakes launches Community Paramedic Pilot Program
Registered nurse Christina Janke discusses patients with paramedic Julie Milne.

For just over five months seniors at risk in Kawartha Lakes have had paramedic Julie Milne in their corner – and it’s made all the difference in the world to them.

Milne, of Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Services (KLPS), spoke to Kawartha Lakes City Council yesterday at the committee of the whole meeting to share her experiences about the community paramedic pilot program. She was the lead (and only) paramedic who was assigned to the pilot to determine if better health outcomes for seniors was possible. Another goal was to prevent further hospital visits and prolonged stays.

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Seniors test out cutting edge Seniors Play Park in Fenelon Falls

in Around Town/Community/Health/Seniors by
Seniors test out the cutting edge Seniors Play Park in Fenelon Falls
Penni Holdham, left, Doug Elmslie, top rt, Khosrow Yazdani. Photos: Jamie Morris.

A politician, a physiotherapist, and an artist walk to a barre. That’s not the set-up for a joke. The ballet barre is one of 13 components in the recently-opened Seniors Play Park in Fenelon Falls, one of the first such parks in Canada, and I’ve asked the three — all seniors themselves — to spend some time exploring the very compact apparatus and then to share their thoughts.

The politician is Doug Elmslie, currently Deputy Mayor and for the past 13 years councillor for the ward that includes Fenelon Falls. He’s also Chair of the Board of Management for Victoria Manor, and so knows something of aging seniors’ needs. Doug is mid-70s, rates his fitness level as 5 on a 1 to 10 scale. He’s on the go most days and he golfs, but not as often as he’d like.

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Seniors step up when it comes to community involvement

in Seniors by
United Way unveils large scale community garden project
Seniors volunteer in many ways, including at the community gardens, on service clubs, and at non-profits.

While the best outcome for any community is to have the perfect balance of younger, middle-aged, and senior population, there’s no denying how important the senior demographic has become to the Kawartha Lakes area.

In fact, according to the 2016 census data more than 34 per cent of our City’s population is over the age of 60, much greater than the provincial median.

Rebecca Mustard is manager of economic development for the City. She says seniors “are incredibly important to communities.”

“From an economic standpoint, they contribute in many ways including purchasing goods and services from the community,” Mustard says.

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