May 14, 2018
By Valerie Massie
This quote is on the cover of Toronto’s Seniors Strategy report. “Design for the youngand you exclude the old. Design for the old and you include everyone.” Today, an updated version of the city’s seniors strategy is being considered today 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 Toronto Public Health 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. Dr. Samir Sinha is the co-chair of Toronto’s Senior Strategy, and the Director of Geriatrics at Sinai Health System.