2010-11 Annual Report Highlights
Seniors and Community Supports
Message from the Minister
As the Minister of Seniors and Community Supports, I am pleased to present highlights of the Ministry’s Annual Report for the 2010-11 fiscal year. My sincere thanks go to our hardworking staff for their efforts this year, and to the individuals and organizations in our communities who work closely with our Ministry to serve Albertans. My thanks also go to the many Albertans who have shared their ideas with me on how we can improve independence and well-being for seniors and persons with disabilities.
In 2010-11, total Ministry program expenses of $2.05 billion supported the provision of programs and services to seniors and persons with disabilities. As a Ministry, we have accomplished a great deal this year supporting the province’s 407,500 seniors, approximately 9,300 adults with developmental disabilities and more than 43,000 Albertans with severe and permanent disabilities.
The Ministry continued its commitment to improving availability and choice in the continuing care system and dedicated over $89 million in capital funding to help develop 882 new affordable supportive living units across the province. This funding will also support the development of an additional 30 long-term care spaces.
Working with our cross ministry partners in the Alberta Supports initiative we launched a single website (www.albertasupports.ca) and phone number (1-877-644-9992 toll-free or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton) for Albertans to access information about a range of provincial social-based programs to get the right help at the right time.
The Ministry completed an administrative review of the Persons with Developmental Disabilities programs to identify efficiencies and savings that can be redirected to front-line services for individuals. Implementation of the approved recommendations will begin in 2011-12.
I am proud to lead this Ministry and remain confident we will continue to make progress toward our vision that all Albertans, regardless of age or ability, can achieve the best possible well-being and independence.
Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH)
- Provided financial and health-related benefits through the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program to approximately 43,000 adult Albertans with a severe and permanent disability that substantially limits their ability to earn a livelihood.
- Provided approximately 9,000 individuals with personal benefits to help with ongoing needs such as child care or one-time expenses such as travel to medical appointments.
- Simplified the AISH application and medical eligibility process for clients who are also eligible for PDD-funded services.
Seniors Services and Supports
- Provided over 147,000 low-income seniors with monthly financial support through the Alberta Seniors Benefit (ASB) program.
- Adjusted the ASB program to ensure support for seniors was maintained by increasing the benefit levels to offset the three percent increase in accommodation rates for residents of long-term care facilities.
- Increased the ASB program’s income thresholds to prevent benefit reductions that may have resulted from increases to federal benefits.
- Provided support to approximately 23,000 seniors through the Special Needs Assistance for Seniors program.
- Provided rebates to over 100,000 senior households through the Education Property Tax Assistance for Seniors Program.
- Assisted more than 84,000 seniors with the cost of dental treatment and almost 36,000 with the cost of prescription eyeglasses.
- Released the Aging Population Policy Framework, which will help the Government of Alberta meet the needs of our aging population by supporting our ability to make coordinated and consistent decisions about policies, programs and supports for an aging population. The Framework also lays out the roles, principles and key policy directions that need to be considered when making these decisions.
- Released Addressing Elder Abuse in Alberta: A Strategy for Collective Action, which provides a plan for the Government of Alberta to work with community partners to prevent and address elder abuse. This Strategy supports ongoing efforts to prevent family violence and bullying, and builds on the policy directions set out in the Aging Population Policy Framework.
- Improved access to program information by launching an online Benefit Estimator to help Alberta seniors determine their potential eligibility for seniors programs.
- As part of the government’s Alberta Supports initiative, the Ministry and its partners established a single website and phone number for Albertans to access information about a range of provincial social-based programs, amalgamating eight contact centres. The web portal has two sections: a list of resources and a web-based tool to determine potential eligibility. The contact centre enables Albertans to call one telephone number for up-to-date information, helps Albertans navigate the web portal, provides forms and makes referrals as required.
- Distributed more than 47,000 copies of the Seniors Programs and Services Information Guide andover 185,000 publications, forms and brochures related to seniors programs.
Supportive Living and Long-Term Care Accommodations
- Delivered 23 education sessions and provided information materials for residents, affected agencies, government and the general public about the newly released Supportive Living Accommodation and Licensing Act.
- Monitored accommodation standards, investigated complaints and followed up on previous complaints resulting in over 1,250 visits to 728 supportive living facilities and 173 long-term care settings across the province.
- Invested over $89 million in capital grant funding in support of the province’s continuing care strategy, including approving 882 new affordable supportive living units and 30 long-term care spaces.
- Increased the Lodge Assistance Program (LAP) per diem grant to $8.75 per day and the Special Services per diem grant to $3.70 for each eligible low-income resident.
- Distributed over $3 million to the approximately 150 lodges across the province, providing a one-time maintenance grant of $300 per unit to all seniors lodge operators receiving the LAP grant to assist in addressing maintenance issues and improving the safety and security of lodge residents.
Disability and Community Support Programs
- Provided community supports for adults with disabilities through such programs as the Alberta Brain Injury Initiative, the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Initiative, Community Access for People in Continuing Care and Cross Disability Support Services.
- Implemented the new Protection for Persons in Care Act, which requires that abuse involving adults receiving government-funded care or support is reported and responded to. The Act sets out clear responsibilities for service providers to prevent, report and address abuse, including a requirement for service providers to educate their staff about what abuse is, how to prevent it and how to report it. Under this legislation, the Ministry responds to approximately 400 reports of abuse per year.
- Initiated a comprehensive education and awareness campaign to inform stakeholders about the new legislation through the delivery of presentations and information sessions to over 300 participants, including the delivery of about 90,000 brochures and over 3,300 posters published in English, French and Chinese. New fact sheets and A Guide to Understanding the Protection for Persons in Care Act were developed, and the website was updated with detailed information about reporting abuse.
Public Guardian Services
- Acted as Public Guardian for over 2,000 represented adults who have been deemed by the Court as unable to make their own personal, non-financial decisions and provided support to private guardians. Through the newly implemented court application procedures, Review Officers have processed over 1,200 applications under the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act.
- Delivered 23 specialized training sessions on the new application process across the province to more than 240 lawyers and legal assistants.
- Delivered 57 presentations about guardianship and legislative changes to over 2,240 members of the public and service providers and an additional 65 presentations to over 1,900 Albertans about all substitute decision-making options, including advanced planning with personal directives.
- Assisted over 400 private guardians at five symposia across the province by providing them with information, resources and assistance in undertaking their role as guardian.
Suppport to Persons with Developmental Disabilities
- Provided supports to approximately 9,300 adults with developmental disabilities to assist them with being included in community life and being as independent as possible.
- Completed an administrative review of the PDD program to identify efficiencies and savings that can be redirected to front-line services for individuals. Implementation of the approved recommendations will begin in 2011-12.
- Assessed over 2,900 individuals receiving PDD funding using the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) assessment tool, which ensures people with developmental disabilities have the individual supports necessary to achieve positive outcomes.
- Implemented a single contract template for Family Managed Service Agreements based on feedback from dialogue sessions held with families/guardians of an adult with a developmental disability. The template is designed to decrease administrative burden for families while maintaining the necessary level of accountability.
Alberta Aids to Daily Living
- Provided over 79,000 Albertans who have a disability, chronic illness or terminal illness with equipment and supplies to help them maintain their independence.
- Provided grants to help eligible wheelchair users make their homes more accessible through the Residential Access Modification Program.
- Improved administrative efficiencies and payment processes by consolidating and aligning all hearing aid funding from across the provincial government.
Ministry 2010-11 Program Expenses
Information on programs for seniors and persons with disabilities is available on the Ministry’s website at www.seniors.alberta.ca, or at the Alberta Supports Web Portal at www.albertasupports.ca.
Information about Seniors and Community Supports programs and services is also available through the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at
- 1-877-644-9992 or
- 780-644-9992 in the Edmonton area.