Ontario Retirement Communities Association Media Release


Senior Services Benefit would support seniors to stay in the community longer

May 2, 2018 (Oakville) The Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA) wants a commitment from all parties this election to help seniors with a Senior Services Benefit.

“By 2036 there will be over 5 million seniors in this country.  Every one of those seniors deserves a plan for their future that supports their interests,” said ORCA CEO Laurie Johnston.  “This election we want all parties to commit to a Senior Services Benefit that would act as a monthly allowance to help seniors pay for their housing and care needs.  We know seniors thrive when they are living in congregate settings – a Senior Services Benefit would alleviate financial pressure, empower choice and allow them to stay in the community as long as possible – now is the time!”

A 2018 poll conducted by DART Insight and Communications for ORCA clearly shows that 79 per cent of Canadians worry about having enough money to pay for their care when they need it; while 71 per cent worry about being a burden on their family if they can’t look after themselves.  Almost all Canadians, 96 per cent, agreed that social interaction is important for seniors’ health and wellbeing.  Ninety-four per cent of Canadians agreed that social isolation is associated with higher health risks and 91 per cent of seniors agreed that they do not want to be socially isolated in their later years.

ORCA is asking parties to commit to a Senior Services Benefit that would include the following principles:

The Senior Services Benefit must include funding that flows to the senior – flexible enough for each to choose the services needed (e.g. rent, housing, assistance/support, meals, care, etc.).

  • The Senior Services Benefit must establish funding that is sustainable and predictable.
  • The Senior Services Benefit must ensure funding that is awarded based on established, transparent criteria and a fair assessment.
  • The Senior Services Benefit must be accountable.

“We know that 96 per cent of families worry less if their loved one has supports to keep them safe and well – it’s never been a better time to do this,” said Johnston, “A Senior Services Benefit is an essential support to both the senior and their family – and would be a tremendous step in the right direction for Ontarians.”

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For more information or a copy of ORCA’s Pre-Budget Submission, contact: 

Kari Cuss, Director, Communications & Public Affairs, ORCA 905.403.0500 ext. 229 or kari@orcaretirement.com
Kelly McGuire, Communications & Public Affairs Specialist, ORCA 905.403.0500 ext. 226 or kelly@orcaretirement.com

The Ontario Retirement Communities Association is a voluntary not-for-profit organization that represents the operators of retirement homes across Ontario.  With over 600 members, ORCA represents 93 per cent of the retirement home suites in the province.  Our sector employs upward of 28,000 full-time and part time employees who support over 57,000 seniors.