FREDERICTON (GNB) – Enhancing community-based care and support for seniors was the topic of a roundtable discussion on Nov. 30 that included government staff and representatives from various sectors that provide services to seniors.

“The Department of Social Development is diligently working on improving the ability of seniors to stay in their own homes as long as possible,” said Social Development Minister Bruce Fitch. “The best way to achieve that is to work together and get input from our stakeholders on the challenges and opportunities facing seniors.”

Participants had an opportunity to exchange and validate the initiatives and projects that are being implemented collaboratively by the departments of Social Development and Health. The Aging in Place framework and health plan initiatives include actions and projects intended to make it easier for seniors to access the health and social support they need to remain independent for as long as possible. The initiatives build upon the recommended actions in the Aging Strategy.

This was the second biannual stakeholder engagement roundtable. The objective was to provide input to a committee of leaders from the departments of Social Development and Health, the Horizon and Vitalité Health Networks and Extra Mural/Ambulance New Brunswick.

Roundtable participants at sessions vary depending upon the issues being discussed.

“Over the past year the world has changed, as have the needs of seniors,” said Fitch. “The global pandemic caused a shift in direction for many organizations and finding ways to address the needs of our residents, particularly our seniors, has been vital.”

The roundtable was established as a forum for information-sharing and providing advice on issues related to healthy aging. The sessions are co-chaired by the Department of Social Development and the Department of Health.

“With our current approach of helping seniors stay in their own homes as long as possible, the work is focused on the need to enhance access to care and services for seniors, jointly with the Department of Health,” said Fitch. “Together, we have developed clear objectives, a work plan and indicators to determine the success of initiatives being implemented.”