May 14, 2018
By Jane Brown
An updated version of the City of Toronto’s Seniors’ Strategy is being considered Monday by members of Mayor John Tory’s executive committee.
Expanding access to free dental health services through Toronto Public Health is one of 27 recommendations in the report.
The director of dental and oral health services at TPH calls it “a serious health gap that if you don’t have insurance and you don’t have money to pay, you are completely left on your own for oral health.” Doctor Hazel Stewart points out that poor oral health is tied to chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stomach issues. She says older people are now living longer than ever and now outnumber children for the first time in the city’s history, and are particularly at risk for dental issues requiring prompt treatment.
Councillor Josh Matlow is the city’s seniors advocate and agrees more funding is needed for the public health budget with some 3000 low income seniors struggling to get care.