OROMOCTO (GNB) – The government has accepted the recommendations contained in a strategy developed earlier this year by the Council on Aging and will implement 77 action items. Premier Brian Gallant made the announcement this morning during a speech to the Oromocto and Area Chamber of Commerce.

“An aging population is our province's largest challenge,” said Gallant. “To fight this trend, we will enhance support for seniors so they can live in their homes longer, improve access to health care, and push to grow the New Brunswick labour force.”

The government will establish an aging secretariat and create a roundtable on aging to oversee the implementation of the recommendations. The secretariat will provide support to the provincial roundtable and government departments on issues relating to seniors.

The 17-member Council on Aging, created in 2015, was asked to develop a strategy that addressed short-term sustainability and long-term changes in order to balance the needs of the aging population with rising costs and pressures on the health-care system.

In its report, the council urged families, communities, municipalities, private and non-profit sectors, and the government to work collaboratively to implement the strategy’s recommendations over the next 10 years.

The roundtable, co-chaired by the deputy ministers of social development and health, will be comprised of key stakeholders and senior government officials. It will collect and share information among various groups involved in the aging sector.

The aging secretariat will provide support to the roundtable, enable connections and share knowledge.

“The aging secretariat will be tracking and reporting on the implementation of actions in the New Brunswick Aging Strategy,” said Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Lisa Harris. “It will work closely with the research community and be a single point of co-ordination for stakeholders in the aging sector.”

More information on the aging strategy is available online or by calling 1-855-550-0552.