Service delivery
September 9, 2013

More service options for Nova Scotia seniors

The government of Nova Scotia has introduced a Seniors Navigators Program, which is intended to help senior citizens understand and access services. The goal is to give them the freedom to stay in their homes longer.

“There are a variety of programs and services available to protect and support seniors of all ages,” said Premier Darrell Dexter in a press release. “But some seniors were still missing out. Either they had trouble navigating the system or were simply unaware of programs that could help them plan for down the road.

“This new program will connect people who know what’s out there with people who need support, making it easier and less stressful for seniors and their families to take advantage of the supports available to them.”

Through the program, seniors will be able to turn to navigators who will assess their needs and assist them in accessing the appropriate services. Moreover, younger seniors who wish to plan for the future may call upon navigators to fill them in on the services and programs they might need to use in their later years.

The program is a great initiative that has several benefits. It’s an important step forward in protecting one of society’s most vulnerable groups. It ensures that services are being used to their maximum potential. It’s efficient because it means that seniors will be directed to the appropriate venue for their service needs quickly rather than diverted from location to location in search of the provider who can best address their problem.

Although we have the Internet and mobile to simplify our access to services, there are still segments of the population that either cannot or do not know how to use the technology at our disposal. And as governments are learning, technology is a cheaper way to provide services: the challenge remains the digital divide.

This is why this initiative is a good example of how the government will not only provide services, but also – in the longer term – save money.

Do you think this new program is a good way to address the issues facing seniors? What else can governments do to improve services for them? Let us know in the comments.

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