Toronto, September 30, 2019 – Increase the availability of relevant and up-to-date data; reduce the vulnerability of Francophone seniors in Ontario; increase the offer of long-term care services in French; adopt an integrated approach to aging; exert pressure at the municipal level. These five recommendations are at the heart of the White Paper on Ontario’s Aging Francophone Population, which was unveiled on the eve of the International Day of Older Persons by the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) and its partner, the Fédération des aînés et des retraités francophones de l’Ontario (FARFO).
Ontario’s population is aging and the trend is even more pronounced among the province’s Francophone population. Ontario’s Francophone community is older compared to the general population: it has a greater proportion of people aged 65 and over and a lesser proportion of people aged 35 and less.
Access to long-term care beds is one the key challenges identified in the White Paper. Last year, municipalities identified one bed designated for French-language services per 3400 Francophones, compared to the average of one bed per 170 people for Ontario’s general population. In Toronto, the Francophone community can access only 37 long-term care beds. An opportunity to improve the situation of Francophone seniors is at hand as the Government of Ontario prepares to invest in the creation of 30,000 beds over the next ten years.
“Our aging seniors are a key issue in Ontario’s Francophone community. Considering the difficulty of obtaining French language services and this barrier’s impact on our aging citizens, the White Paper is vital to addressing the problem. The situation was assessed, recommendations were put forward and the AFO, in partnership with the FARFO, will pursue its efforts to ensure that the recommendations are heeded,” said Carol Jolin, president of the AFO.
“The White Paper’s recommendations are clear. We must demand more French language services in health, mental health, palliative care, long-term care centres, home care, affordable housing, transportation and financial security for seniors. The FARFO and its partners will work to strengthen their strategy to ensure that our needs are not forgotten,” said Jean-Rock Boutin, president of the FARFO.
The Hon. Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, was present at the unveiling of the
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