Region tackling new seniors’ strategy

With its senior population expected double over the next three decades, York Region is updating its Seniors Strategy with the goal of enhancing the health and well-being of seniors so they can age comfortably in their community.

“York Region aims to deliver the right services to meet the needs of our growing seniors’ population,” says Regional Councillor Gino Rosati, Chair of Community and Health Services.

The region estimates 23 per cent of its residents will be aged over 65 by 2051. “Balancing the needs of all generations while also keeping seniors healthier, the proposed plan supports the Healthy Communities priority of the York Region 2023 to 2027 Strategic Plan,” Rosati says.

York Region launched its first Seniors Strategy in 2016. Most actions and advocacy identified in the strategy were completed, including developing and distributing more than 10,000 kits for seniors to fill out with standardized health information, a useful tool for paramedics responding to 911 calls involving seniors.

The region also received funding from a Seniors Community Grant Program. Among other things, it used that funding to develop and implement a virtual age-simulation training program for Long-Term Care Home and Community Programs staff to better understand and empathize with seniors’ changing needs, including the physical challenges of aging and cognitive impairment.

The proposed 2023 to 2027 York Region Plan to Support Seniors will build on the successes of that strategy and introduce new actions and areas for needed advocacy. The region says it will focus on areas in which it can make a difference, advocate for change and bring together various stakeholders to address senior-related issues.

While the Region says it offers “important” programs for seniors, other organizations and levels of government deliver most health and community services supporting seniors. The Region will continue to advocate and collaborate with the provincial government and other stakeholders to “drive system improvements and address gaps” to make it easier for seniors to access needed services.

“York Regional Council is committed to supporting the health and well-being of our aging population,” Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson says. “We are working closely with our partners and exploring innovative ways to keep seniors safe and supported as they age.”

Last month, community partners and sector experts shared insights into the changing needs of York’s diverse seniors’ population at a special council meeting. Council will receive the updated plan in early 2024 for consideration. Moving forward, the plan will be updated every four years to coincide with each new term of Council. Visit to learn more. 

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