N.B. to establish aging secretariat, roundtable on aging

The New Brunswick government says it has accepted the recommendations made by the Council on Aging and will implement 77 action items.

Premier Brian Gallant says his government will also create an aging secretariat and a roundtable on aging to oversee the implementation of the recommendations.

Gallant made the announcements during a speech to the Oromocto and Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday morning.

"An aging population is our province's largest challenge," Gallant said in a statement. "To fight this trend, we will enhance support for seniors so they can live in their homes longer, improve access to health care, and push to grow the New Brunswick labour force."

In its report released in January, the Council on Aging said New Brunswick needs to become more age-friendly and grow into a leader in aging research and social innovation.

Other recommendations included developing a dementia strategy, improving training and incentives for caregivers, and enhancing communication among health professionals to better co-ordinate care.

The council urged families, communities, municipalities, private and non-profit sectors, and government to work collaboratively to implement the strategy's recommendations over the next 10 years.

The roundtable will be co-chaired by the deputy ministers of social development and health and will include key stakeholders and senior government officials.

It will collect and share information among various groups involved in the aging sector, while the aging secretariat will track and report on the implementation of the action items.