THE CARP 5 – Fund Fitness for Seniors

The Ontario government should do more to support fitness for seniors. Recent studies show that fitness activities can reduce health care costs by thousands of dollars per person. Proactively funding senior fitness is an innovative way to encourage better health and relieve excess costs from the beleaguered system.

CARP’s demand:

  • The provincial government should introduce a $1,200 refundable tax credit that will incentivize more seniors to take part in fitness programs, and more providers to create such programs and opportunities. There are already some programs (such as High Five For Older Adults) that would see participation rates increase if there were financial incentives. There is a lot of scope in this area!
  • The provincial government should work more actively with regional and municipal governments to revisit their existing recreational programs, and redesign them to better meet the needs and demands of older adults in their communities. Local communities will also find cost savings in other programs, if they can do more to boost the health and fitness of their aging population.

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The studies are in from around the world.  From the Lancet Medical Journal: “In addition to morbidity and premature mortality, physical inactivity is responsible for a substantial economic burden. This paper provides further justification to prioritise promotion of regular physical activity worldwide as part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce non-communicable diseases.” Read More

The Province’s own experts are telling them that the burden of chronic diseases (particularly in older adults) includes a tremendous financial cost. Funding fitness activities for seniors will help cuts those costs and improve the health of seniors across Ontario. Read More

Read More: NYT – The connection between physical activity and healthcare savings

Read More: Why physical activity should be part of public health policy