It was a quick trip to Toronto with a focus on helping seniors for Swift Current's MLA earlier this week.

Saskatchewan Senior Minister Everett Hindley attended a seniors forum on Wednesday along with Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FTP) Ministers Responsible for Seniors.

This was his first in-person meeting with the FTP Ministers since taking over the portfolio in November of 2020, and according to Hindley, it made a difference.

"We were able to get a lot more done," he said. "Seeing some of the reports that are presented on some of the data that's being collected of a bunch of different research projects around seniors and older adults. Also, to have conversations with our counterparts from other provinces and territories just to talk about what each of us is doing in our respective jurisdictions for seniors and older adults."    

A large portion of the discussion centred around the cost of living, housing, senior abuse, ageism, the role of technology in the lives of seniors, and remaining at home.

"[The meeting was a] great opportunity to collaborate with other ministers and vice-versa," he said. "Myself asking other ministers as to what they're doing in their provinces."

Building on this topic was new facilities in Ontario that combined long-term centres with independent living. It's an idea Hindley is going to monitor for larger cities (Regina/Saskatoon) but didn't believe it would work in most of Saskatchewan.

"We have a different perspective on it from rural Saskatchewan's point of view and rural communities," he said. "I'd argue that in some of our rural communities, they're going above and beyond to help seniors in their communities stay at home as long as they possibly can."

After Hindley presented a report at the forum, he fielded questions on the province's recent increase to the personal care home benefit and the senior's income plan.

"They were asking us about some of the initiatives we have here in Saskatchewan," confirmed Hindley.