Mayor to support increased assistance for seniors

May 9, 2012 | Safer Communities

Mayor Gregor Robertson will support a motion from Councillor Tony Tang next week that directs City staff to develop a comprehensive new policy to better assist seniors in crisis and residents living with dementia.

"As Vancouver and cities across Canada face the challenge of an aging population, we need to be ensuring that seniors receive the support they need to remain strong and healthy members of our families and our communities," said Mayor Robertson. "This motion will help the City of Vancouver to better identify seniors in crisis and provide the best possible assistance to residents with dementia and their families. I hope it will receive unanimous support from City Council."

Currently, one in eight Vancouver residents is over the age of 65, and one in eleven Canadians over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Cities such as Toronto are developing policy for front-line city staff who regularly interact with seniors, helping them identify the signs of dementia and trained to provide assistance as needed.

The motion calls for the City to examine ways it can improve its support for seniors in coordination with a number of its departments, stakeholders and partners, before reporting back to Council. These include (but are not limited to) social development staff, Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, the Seniors and Disability Advisory Committees, the Park Board, the Alzheimer's Society of BC, and Vancouver Coastal Health.

“As a leading non-profit organization providing support, education, better dementia care and research funding to find the cures of dementia, we are encouraged by this proposed motion,” said Jean Blake, CEO, Alzheimer Society of B.C. “It is reassuring to know that our community leaders in Vancouver are seeing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as an important issue, to know that there is co-operative leadership in ensuring the families impacted by dementia are supported, and we hope to see this occur in every B.C. community.”

To read the full motion from Councillor Tony Tang, please click here