For the first time in Canadian history, people over the age of 65 outnumber those under the age of 15. This is expected to place additional pressure on Canada's health care system due to age-related and chronic diseases. At the same time, there is widespread acceptance of the positive impact that physical activity and social inclusion can have on overall health. As a result, governments and organizations across the country are taking steps to actively engage older adults in physical activity.
In this context, in January 2016, Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO) received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for a 3-year project to develop a framework for older adult recreation, based on the success of the HIGH FIVE quality standard for children's programs. The Principles of Health Aging (PHA) builds on HIGH FIVE’s quality assurance standard for children. Its principles—Mastery, Play, Participation, Friendship, and having A Caring Leader—have demonstrated success in encouraging older adults to participate consistently in physical activity. The project is now in its implementation phase.
PHA Implementation Timeline
Launch: April 2018
- Principles of Healthy Aging, a one-day training, provides insights into the unique needs of older adults participating in recreation or leisure activities. Learn evidence-based approaches to improve the participant experience using the HIGH FIVE Principles of Healthy Aging. Topics include ageism, program planning, as well as the importance that physical literacy plays in sustained long-term health, increased social connectedness, improved mental and physical well-being and a better quality of life.
Healthy Aging Trainer Training: Fall 2018
- The Healthy Aging Trainer Training is designed for those responsible for training staff in a single organization or anyone interested in training recreation professionals on the Principles of Healthy Aging more broadly. PHA trainers believe deeply in the importance of quality programming for older adults and are interested in helping organizations make a commitment to continuous improvement in the area of healthy aging and training delivery.
Online Healthy Aging QUEST 2: Spring 2019
- Online Healthy Aging QUEST 2 provides an evidence-based approach to evaluating programming for older adults. Themes include: ageism, program planning, and the importance that physical literacy plays in sustained long-term health, increased social connectedness, improved general mental and physical well-being and a better quality of life.
Online Healthy Aging QUEST 1: Spring 2019
- Online Healthy Aging QUEST 1 will help supervisors and managers assess, develop, measure and adopt older adult focused policies and procedures. Participants will be provided with sample policies and procedures in key risk areas including hiring, emergency management, program planning, and report tracking and learn how to adopt an older adult-centred approach to service delivery and operations to minimize risk.
Quality Framework for Older Adults in programs
This framework is being adapted from it's current use as a quality framework for children's programs.
Click below to explore each piece of the current model