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Provincial minister delivers address at seniors’ active living fair

Ontario Minister of Seniors and Accessibility Raymond Cho (middle) spoke Wednesday morning in St. Jacobs. Here, he’s flanked by Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Mike Harris; Community Care Concepts’ home services coordinator Karla Frey; Sue Hesjedahl, executive director of the Older Adult Centres’ Association of Ontario (OACAO) and Community Care Concepts executive director Cathy Harrington. [Sean Heeger / The Observer]

It’s not easy getting old. As the Ontario Minister of Seniors and Accessibility, Raymond Cho may have more than a passing familiarity with that sentiment, one he joked about Wednesday morning in St. Jacobs.

Cho addressed some 160 guests at the Seniors Information and Active Living Fair, held March 11 for the fifth year under the auspices of Community Care Concepts. The event focuses on education and introducing seniors to the supports available around them.

Helping and encouraging seniors to live better, while inspiring a better sense of wellbeing and health, along with preventative measures is the goal of the fair, said Karla Frey, manager of community programs at Community Care Concepts.

“You have a community, a very caring community here in Woolwich, Wellesley and Wilmot,” said Frey. “We’re blessed to be in the rural townships.  The community works very hand in glove and every door is an open door so you should be able to call any of these people here that link to the supports you need.”

Cho spoke about what he’s gone through since getting older and what the government is doing to ensure the continued success of those who are living through their golden years.

Citing a growing number of seniors and a need for more care, Cho talked about tackling isolation which he describes as the most dangerous thing for those of a certain age.

The government has invested in more home and community support for seniors, and Frey said this is key to reducing wait times, but keeping older people out of hospitals.

“When we look at the Ministry of Health we are able to, through their funding to us, help reduce hallway medicine and hospital wait times,” said Frey. “Settling people into their homes reduces the amount of … re-admittances to hospital. And that’s as a direct result of their funding to us.”

Attendees were treated to education from a number of booths set up by community partners, entertainment, a chance to network, and a lunch.

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