For the first time in Canadian history, people over the age of 65 outnumber those under the age of 15. Governments, organizations and individuals have been working collaboratively to assess the impact of a rapidly ageing population. Undoubtedly, the demographic shift is having significant implications for those who provide services to people in Canada. Building age-friendly communities and implementing innovative approaches to health care services are some of the initiatives governments and other stakeholders are undertaking to ensure that older adults in Canada remain active and engaged in their communities.

In response to the demographic shift in Canada and feedback from recreation providers, Parks and Recreation Ontario is developing a quality framework for older adult programs, based on the HIGH FIVE® Quality Assurance Standard for children’s programsii. The first phase of this development included an environmental scan and literature review. This literature review was completed in partnership with the National Institute on Ageing at Ryerson University.

The aims of this review were to:

  • Discover if other quality frameworks for older adult programs exist and show the alignment of the HIGH FIVE Standard with existing frameworks for healthy ageing
  • Articulate the importance and benefits of a comprehensive quality framework for older adult programs to support for healthy, active ageing
  • Assess if the HIGH FIVE principles of healthy development are applicable to older adults
  • Make recommendations for any further research.

Author: Hanna Woldeyohannes, MBA Ryerson University

Published By: Parks & Recreation Ontario

Publication Date: August 2016

View A Case for the Need for Standards for Older Adult Recreation Programs

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