On March 29, 2018, the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) tabled its report, Advancing Inclusion and Quality of Life for Seniors. HUMA makes 29 recommendations, including the development of a national seniors strategy. Specifically, the committee recommends:
That the federal government devote resources to Employment and Social Development Canada and the National Seniors Council to develop a pan-Canadian Seniors’ Strategy that includes:
Regarding seniors in the criminal justice system, specifically those in federal prisons, the report states:
For federal prisoners
Correctional Service Canada (CSC) is responsible for “administering court-imposed sentences of two years or more, including conditional release supervision of offenders in the community.” The Commissioner of CSC, Don Head, told the Committee that “22% of federal offenders are between the ages of 50 and 64 years, and approximately 7% of the federal offenders are aged 65 years and older.” Rather than chronological age, however, the Commissioner explained to the Committee, “It is the combination of age and functional impairment, often related to the presence of multiple chronic diseases, that determine the unique needs of the older offender.”
Offenders’ health needs are assessed upon admission and regularly thereafter according to the Commissioner, and those in need are treated in CSC health centres, or by community services where necessary for “specialized care.” Palliative care is provided in an institution, supported by “volunteers, clergy and palliative care specialists” or within a CSC hospital. In 2010, the Office of the Correctional Investigator recommended that CSC “prepare a national older offender strategy for 2011-12 that includes a geriatric release component as well as enhanced post release supports.” This recommendation was repeated in the Investigator’s most recent report. The Commissioner told the Committee that CSC was working to “develop [an older offender] strategy.” The strategy is scheduled to be completed by 30 March 2018.
Report: Advancing Inclusion and Quality of Life for Seniors (March 2018)