RIVERVIEW (GNB) – Premier David Alward visited Lakeview Manor in Riverview today to report on progress being made in providing the best care, housing and services for New Brunswick seniors.

"Investing in quality care and services for our growing senior population is a key part of our plan to rebuild New Brunswick and create jobs," said Alward. "The renovations and enhanced services residents are enjoying at Lakeview Manor are an outstanding example of the work we are doing to provide New Brunswick seniors with more supports, protections and opportunities to contribute to our province."

More than half of the Department of Social Development's budget, $566 million, supports New Brunswick seniors. This funding is invested in areas such as long-term care; health and active living programs; and nursing home services.

"Our investments to support senior care are part of our larger strategy to strengthen communities while helping seniors to continue to make a valuable contribution to our province," Alward said. "It is critical that we all work collaboratively to make sure we are able to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by an aging population."

In the 2012-13 budget, the provincial government made a number of investments in seniors and senior care services. These included investments of $4.25 million for nursing home renovation and replacement; $4.47 million for specialized care beds; and $3 million to increase per-diem rates for special care homes. Funding was also increased to home support agencies by $4.4 million, and the minimum hourly wage for home support workers was increased to $11.

"I am proud of the work we have done to rebuild senior care together during the last two years," Alward said. "We will continue to build on the partnerships we have established with the private sector and with New Brunswick seniors to enhance their quality of life and by doing so, help create jobs and strengthen our economy."