The Government of Canada has signed a bilateral agreement with the Newfoundland and Labrador government to invest C$78m ($57m) over the next five years to support the province’s ‘Ageing with Dignity’ programme. 

This commitment forms part of the Canadian government’s broader plan to invest C$200bn over ten years, including C$5.4bn for specific bilateral agreements with provinces and territories on Ageing with Dignity.  

The funding also complements a nearly C$256m agreement signed between the Canadian and Newfoundland and Labrador governments in March this year. 

As part of the latest agreement, the Newfoundland and Labrador government will use federal funds to support the province’s five-year action plan aimed at enhancing healthcare for seniors.  

The plan includes improving home and community care systems, hiring additional clinical staff, increasing restorative and rehabilitative care options, improving palliative and end-of-life care, and establishing a new ten-bed community hospice in Grand Falls-Windsor. 

In addition, the plan will leverage technology for new service delivery models and implement initiatives for timely access to home support, medical equipment, and medications based on clinical assessments.  

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The action plan also aims to provide improved access to support for individuals living at home as well as for those living with dementia via new community-based care options and additional training courses. 

A geriatric medicine fellowship will be created at Memorial University, and over 1,500 personal support workers will receive wage increases. Recruitment and retention initiatives for caregivers will also be bolstered. 

Further, the plan outlines enhancing quality of life through improved long-term care standards, aligning with national standards, access to behaviour management specialists, and implementing a person-centred care approach.  

The province government will measure progress against all these targets to provide a report on these initiatives annually. 

Newfoundland and Labrador Health and Community Services Minister Tom Osborne said: “This agreement also aligns with Health Accord NL which identifies Aging Population as a priority. By working together with our federal partners and our stakeholders, Newfoundland and Labrador will continue to be a leader in modernising and transforming health care, and so that our seniors can age with the dignity and respect they deserve.”