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Appendix A: Summary of recommendations for government & community action

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  1. THAT the five principles contained in the National Framework on Aging be integrated in policies and programs of public and private sector organizations.
  2. THAT all levels of government evaluate laws, policies and programs to ensure that they do not contain age-based assumptions and stereotypes and that they reflect the needs of older persons.
  3. THAT the Ministry of Education, school boards and schools develop programs and activities that will encourage a better understanding and a more positive perception of older persons. Intergenerational programming between students and older persons is an integral part of such education.
  4. THAT professional faculties such as medicine, nursing, social work and nutritional sciences should better prepare their graduates to work with older persons in a more supportive manner, without stereotypes and assumptions.
  5. THAT regulated professions and voluntary professional associations take steps to raise awareness among their membership about ageism and age discrimination and provide continuing education in this area, for example through courses and publications.
  6. THAT government, the public and private sectors consider the ‘intersectional effect’ of age and gender in policies and programs, especially with respect to the compounded disadvantage experienced by older women.
  7. THAT the provincial government enact legislation that will set minimum standards for accessibility for persons with disabilities, including older persons.
  8. THAT government, the public and private sectors consider the ‘intersectional effect’ of age and disability in policies and programs, especially with respect to the compounded disadvantage experienced by older persons with disabilities.
  9. THAT government, the public and private sectors consider the ‘intersectional effect’ of age and sexual orientation in policies and programs, especially with respect to the compounded disadvantage experienced by older gay, lesbian and bisexual persons.
  10. THAT health care and social service providers receive training to enable them to appropriately address the needs of older gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons.
  11. THAT residential facilities ensure that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered residents are protected from homophobia, and afforded the same rights and recognition of their relationships as other residents.
  12. THAT health care and other service providers should seek to find ways to deliver services to a range of ethnic, cultural, racial, linguistic and religious groups.
  13. THAT the Code be amended to eliminate the blanket defence to mandatory retirement at age 65 and to extend protection against age discrimination to workers over 65. This could be done by removing the upper limit of 65 in the definition of “age” in section 10(1). Employers who wish to have age-based retirement policies will be required to demonstrate that the policy is based on bona fide occupational requirements. Laws and programs that require consequential adjustment should also be reviewed.
  14. THAT, irrespective of whether the Code is amended, employers and unions reconsider the utility and necessity of requiring employees to retire at age 65 and revise their retirement policies and collective agreements to promote flexibility and choice.
  15. THAT employers take steps to ensure that workplace policies and procedures do not have an adverse effect on older workers. Workplace human rights policies and education programs should address age discrimination and harassment.
  16. THAT workplaces should be free of ageist assumptions and stereotypes and employers should ensure that older workers are afforded the same opportunities as their younger counterparts. The value of older workers should be recognized.
  17. THAT municipal, provincial and federal governments should cooperate to develop a strategy for affordable housing for older persons in Ontario. Options for consideration include rent subsidies, shelter allowances and rental cost protections for older persons. The concept of “aging in place” should be a central consideration.
  18. THAT all levels of government engage in efforts to ensure that the social housing supply in Ontario meets the existing and future needs of older persons and other vulnerable groups.
  19. THAT THE ONTARIO Building Code Act, 1992 be amended to incorporate the best principles of barrier-free design.
  20. THAT developers and builders design and implement barrier-free housing that responds to the specific needs of older persons, including those with disabilities.
  21. THAT medical schools and training centres for health care professionals and others who work with older persons enhance education on the needs of older persons.
  22. THAT health care institutions, facilities and services be made accessible to all older persons, particularly those with disabilities.
  23. THAT the government should exercise caution in the use of age-based criteria in health care programs such as assistive devices, prescription drug and dental programs.
  24. Consistent with the Eldridge decision, that service providers provide sign language interpretation services where necessary to ensure equal access for persons who are Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing.
  25. THAT the provincial government take further steps to regulate rest and retirement homes. Issues to address might include a Resident’s Bill of Rights and standards for the use of restraints and end-of-life decisions.
  26. THAT mechanisms currently in place to address other forms of familial abuse should be extended to apply to elder abuse.
  27. THAT the provincial and municipal governments take steps to support specialized programs, including shelters, for victims of elder abuse.
  28. THAT the Ministry of Labour extend the new leave provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000, to smaller workplaces (including those of less than fifty employees).
  29. THAT all levels of government and employers consider providing various forms of support to caregivers. Options for consideration include program support (e.g. programs for caregiver relief), financial support (e.g. tax credits) and flexible work options.


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