Forum focuses attention on addressing challenges of healthy aging
May 3, 2012 - The McMaster Health Forum is taking on a key role in addressing the challenges of dealing with a rapidly growing population of aging Canadians, by establishing aging as a core theme of its work.
Policymakers, researchers and other key stakeholders can now easily access some of the best available research syntheses related to the subject of supporting healthy aging and caring for older adults, through a newly identified healthy aging theme in Health Systems Evidence, the world’s most comprehensive, free access point for evidence on strengthening and reforming health systems, and on getting cost-effective programs, services and drugs to those who need them.
Documents in the continually updated repository that include specific reference to issues, programs or services for the aging population have been coded to allow users of the HSE website to easily identify and retrieve them.
The addition of the new theme on the website is the latest step by the Forum in efforts to facilitate the work of a broad range of stakeholders focused on healthy aging, which has been identified as a high priority by the Government of Ontario as well as other governments.
By 2017, seniors will account for a larger share of the population in Ontario than children aged 0-14. The implications of a rapidly aging population have, in turn, become one of the province’s most pressing health and social policy issues. As the baby-boom generation approaches and enters into retirement, the challenges that Ontario faces in supporting healthy aging and meeting the health and social care needs of an aging population will intensify significantly. Other Canadian provinces face the same challenges.
Last fall, the Forum helped focus attention on issues related to the aging population through a stakeholder dialogue on organizing a care system for older adults in Ontario. The dialogue brought together policymakers, stakeholders representing an array of public and private providers, citizen and patient representatives, and researchers, to deliberate about a range of challenges, identify possible options for addressing them, and develop action-oriented plans for future initiatives.
A summary of the dialogue, the evidence brief that was prepared to inform discussions, a topic overview and interviews with participants are all available on the Forum’s website, to publicly share the findings and insights, and promote greater discussion and debate about how best to tackle the challenges.
The Forum is also offering a monthly evidence service on organizing a care system for older adults, which provides information and links to summaries of newly-identified research syntheses on the topic. The monthly newsletters are available here.
The Forum’s focus on aging is supported financially by the Labarge Charitable Foundation.