Perception about seniors does not reflect reality for Canadians

There is, among some, a perception that seniors today are well off and faring better than they have ever been. This perception relies on statistics about assets accumulated over a life time. It does not reflect the reality faced by many Canadian seniors.

Editor:

There is, among some, a perception that seniors today are well off and faring better than they have ever been. This perception relies on statistics about assets accumulated over a life time. It does not reflect the reality faced by many Canadian seniors.

The erosion of seniors’ income comes in many forms, including inflation and actions undertaken by all levels of government.

Similarly, many of today’s seniors not only function as unpaid caregivers to their own parents, but also make expenditures from their own limited incomes to supplement shortfalls in this care.

Cost of living increases in the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) have in no way come close to matching the increases in the costs of food, energy, medications and housing.

Seniors have made positive contributions to our country that should be recognized. We call on all governments to take action to allow seniors to live their lives in dignity.

What must be done now?

Expand housing and health options for seniors based on their own needs and preferences, including affordability so that they may remain independent for as long as possible.

Address the issue of inadequate income, and the role this social determinant of health has upon one’s ability to remain socially connected.

Vertically expand the Canada Pensions Plan (CPP) to address poverty issues among seniors.

Prevent the establishment of a two-tier health system.

Develop a national policy on mental health.

Recognize the expanded role that home-care workers can provide in the domain of mental health.

Increase financial support, and implement a natural home-care program that will provide a universal 24-hour-per-day, seven-days-a-week home support when necessary.

Additionally, the stock of seniors rental housing is shrinking. We support immediate action to build non-profit rental housing, designated for seniors only. The current practice of placing hard-to-house adults in seniors housing is woefully inappropriate.

Before you vote May 2, please ask the candidates what their government intends to do about these pressing issues.

Audrey MacLise

Chair

Seniors Advisory Council of  Williams Lake and Area