The Government of Yukon has released a What We Heard report that summarizes the key findings of its public engagement on aging in place. Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost tabled the report in the Yukon Legislative Assembly today.
In all, more than 1,200 Yukoners shared their views on the topic. The public engagement began informally in December 2017, when Government of Yukon representatives began meeting with Home Care clients and health care workers to discuss aging in place. The broader-scale engagement launched in conjunction with the Aging in Place Summit in June 2018. Public meetings in nearly every Yukon community, consultations at care facilities, one-on-one meetings, interviews and surveys helped to gather a wide range of feedback. Initial results of the engagement were shared at the Aging in Place Forum in January 2019.
A number of key themes emerged during the engagement, including the accessibility of programs, services and infrastructure; the need for a continuum of housing options; seniors’ transportation needs; and living full and meaningful lives. The feedback is now being considered by the Government of Yukon as it develops an aging in place action plan for Yukon.
I would like to thank everyone who took part in our engagement sessions for their valuable contributions. Our seniors and Elders are the true experts on what it means to age well. Special thanks to Seniors Action Yukon, the Yukon Council on Aging, Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition, Association of Yukon Communities and Association franco-yukonnaise for their assistance in planning this engagement. Working with Yukoners to create innovative solutions to promote aging in place is a priority of our government and I look forward to developing an action plan for the territory.
Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost
To enhance program accessibility, the Government of Yukon has hired 10 new Home and Community Care staff. It has also launched the new respite and re-ablement program at the Thomson Centre.
To help provide Yukoners with a continuum of housing options, the Government of Yukon is working with private sector partners to construct a new supported living residence for seniors in Whitehorse. Known as Normandy House, it will allow for independent living with a variety of available supports. Construction will begin this summer.
To help with transportation needs, the Government of Yukon continues to provide support to the Handy Bus service operated by the City of Whitehorse.
To help seniors in our continuing care homes live fuller and more meaningful lives, the Government of Yukon is expanding its inter-generational programming to Whistle Bend Place, beginning in September 2019. Three mornings a week, groups of young children will spend time visiting with residents of the home.