Protective Services approve Older Adult Plan

OTTAWA – Ottawa’s Community and Protective Services committee (CPSC) approved a plan they hope will make life easier for city seniors.

“To make Ottawa an age-friendly city, offering responsive and accessible services for older adults, the city’s Community and Protective Services committee approved an Older Adult Plan for 2020 to 2022,” city staff released in a statement Oct. 17. “The plan outlines 24 actions related to public transportation, pedestrian safety, accessible spaces, aging in place, affordable housing, healthy and active living, social inclusion and communication.”

The committee approved a six-phase approach to develop a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan by 2021 to address the root causes of crime, social disorder, ill-health and harm. Public perception polling would begin by the end of the year, with further consultation on each phase taking place until mid-2020.

The number of calls to the 9-1-1 service continues to grow, according to an annual report. Last year, the city received 280,000 more calls than in 2017, about 65 additional calls per day.

The committee received the staff response to an inquiry about delays when paramedics off-load patients at local hospitals. While it is the responsibility of hospitals to accept patients and release paramedics expeditiously, the Ottawa Paramedic Service has implemented several measures to alleviate off-load delays, including paramedic response units that can quickly provide care, community paramedics that conduct home visits, transport of vulnerable and homeless patients with substance abuse or mental health issues to specialized clinics, flu shot clinics for at-risk populations and collaboration with hospitals.

The chair of Community and Protective Services Committee, Kanata North Coun. Jenna Sudds, will be meeting with Mayor Jim Watson and the Emergency and Protective Services Department team, to decide next steps towards resolving this public safety issue. Staff will also report back on the issue next year, in the Ottawa Paramedic Service’s annual report. 

In response to residents’ concerns about the quality and availability of accessible taxis, the city could hire a consultant to study the issue and make recommendations by next fall. The committee approved a motion to hire a consultant, using existing budget funds, to do a study about on-demand accessible taxi service. 

Items from today’s committee meeting that require city council approval will go to council on Wednesday, Oct.  23.