Tag: Senior Citizens
Some people would be surprised to know that there are now more Torontonians ages 65+ than children aged 15 and below. By 2041, the number of people over the age of 65 is expected to double. Nationally, seniors are projected to constitute one-quarter of the Canadian population by the year of 2036.
The City of Toronto found that a plan and an appropriate strategy were needed to be put in place, in order to ensure that the needs of the growing population of seniors are being met.
The City first addressed this question on April 12, 2011, when Council directed the Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for seniors in consultation with other levels of government, school boards, relevant community organizations and individuals, businesses and academia that is adequately funded, financially feasible and able to be implemented. A particularly important aspect of Council’s direction was the request that the strategy include helping seniors remain in their own homes longer.
On May 7, 2013, Council unanimously approved the Toronto Seniors Strategy: Towards an Age-Friendly City. Between 2013 and 2017, various progress reports were generated and on July 4, 2017, City Council adopted the Tenants First Phase 1 Implementation Plan. A particular area of interest in this plan was that the City Council approved the strategic integration of City programs and services for seniors and responsibility for management of the 83 seniors-designated buildings within the Toronto Community Housing Corporation portfolio under a new Seniors Housing and Services entity that is separate from Toronto Community Housing and is more directly accountable to City Council.
Most recently, a report for action was generated on April 30, 2018 indicating that the manner in which the City currently organizes its housing and services for seniors does not meet their needs and this problem will be exacerbated as the population continues to grow over the next 10-15 years.
The following recommendations were made:
- City Council to approve Version 2.0 of the Toronto Seniors Strategy and direct City Divisions and Agencies to implement the 27 high-impact recommendations contained in the report;
- City Council to direct the Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration to work with the Executive Director of Financial Planning to report back on the financial impact of fully implementing the 27 high-impact recommendations once the service delivery plans have been fully developed for the medium-term initiatives.
It is encouraging to see that the City of Toronto is taking initiatives such as these to care for its aging population, moving forward. To learn more about this important endeavour check out the Toronto Seniors Strategy Version 2.0 report here.
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In less than 25 years all boomers who are still alive will be senior citizens. That’s just one of the noteworthy statistics about Canada’s population cited in the Winter 2007 issue of LawPRO’s magazine, which is largely devoted to addressing the practice implications for lawyers of older clients.*
LawPRO wisely cautions estate planning solicitors to keep the following in mind:
- Demand for legal services is on the rise – this will continue to increase as boomers inherit the wealth of their parents (being Depression babies, possibly the richest group in Canada);
- The legal arena is more complex – keeping abreast of changes made by the legislature and the courts, and being well-versed in numerous practice areas (such as family law, real estate and wills and estates) will better equip lawyers to advise the elderly and their families; and
- More litigation is predicted – the increased wealth at stake is expected to fuel litigation involving issues of capacity, guardianship and powers of attorney.
The days of the “simple will” are long gone. The sobering reality is that we are practicing in a time where the estates are bigger, clients are more sophisticated, the law is multifaceted and expectations are higher.
A word of caution to fellow lawyers – be careful and be diligent.
* For other comments on this issue I recommend you visit Bar-ex, a virtual legal resource centre.