Seniors are more likely to live sedentary lifestyles as they settle into their golden years, but keeping Sault Ste. Marie’s eldest generation active and engaged has become North East Local Health Integration Networks newest initiative.
Ensuring that seniors stay active, mobile, and moving is one of the biggest mitigating factors in seniors maintaining their independence as they age. Seniors that participate in activities and leave their homes more frequently are less likely to be forced into an assisted living environment in their later years. North East LHIN’s goal is to keep Sault Ste. Marie’s seniors moving, and to help them remain independent and increase their access to vital services.
In an era where there are more seniors than ever, and 70 is the new 60, it’s important to keep our wisest members of society out and about. Mobility issues is one of the biggest barriers hindering seniors from being able to maintain an independent lifestyle. With support and help from the Red Cross and North East LHIN, the Sault Ste. Marie community will soon see more seniors on the Soo streets thanks to some new programs.
Access to transportation has been one of the largest deterrents for seniors in Sault Ste. Marie. Getting to the grocery store, doctors, dentist and pharmacy have proven difficult for those afflicted with mobility issues. To combat the mobility crisis, the North East LHIN has increased their support services, particularly in the area of transportation. Senior residents can now look forward to immediate solutions to their previous mobility woes.
The North East LHIN has increased their support services to include added vehicles for support workers. The vehicles will be utilized to drive seniors to appointments and help accomplish necessary tasks. The addition of the extra vehicles is a win for Sault Ste. Marie seniors who are unable to drive or take the bus, providing access to living a life outside their home.
Aside from the access to transportation initiative, North East LHIN has also instituted the PATH program. The PATH program stands for Priority Assistance to Transition Home. The goal of the program is to aid seniors transitioning from hospital care back into their homes successfully. The program provides support and assistance for patients recovering from hospital stays and provides access to groceries, physiotherapy and home support.
Keeping seniors living independently has been a long-term goal of the North East LHIN, and their newest initiatives have only strengthened their position in the community. Seniors in the city have been more than excited by the program which will allow for more of the aging population to remain living in their homes for the long term.
The North East LHIN in partnership with the Red Cross continues to offer their former programs as well. The programs focus on providing house maintenance to seniors, yard cleaning and even coffee visits. Keeping senior’s active and engaged with community continues to be the focus of North East LHIN’s future initiatives.