Here was our wish list for the May 14th Provincial Election using information from The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Seniors Fact Sheet.
What we’d like to see from the next BC provincial government:
• More, not fewer services for seniors. The number of seniors in BC over age 75 increased by 28% between 2001 and 2010. South Vancouver has 16,000 seniors, the highest percentage of any neighbourhood in Vancouver.
According to the Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives, per capita spending on seniors over 75 in BC has declined between 2001/02 and 2009/10. Here are the figures: Nursing Home Care -3%, Residential Care -21%, Home Support -30%. The overall rate of cuts for all BC Home and Community Care Services is -14%.
• An increase in Home Support and Residential Care funding. Lower provincial government funding for Home Support has led to more frequent and longer hospitalization of seniors in BC. Seniors who are hospitalized while waiting for services to help them live in the community can lose the ability to live independently.
• A reduction in “Alternate Level of Care” (ALC) patients. These are patients who no longer require hospital care, but can’t return home because residential or home health services are not available. Between 2005/06 and 2010/11, there was a 35.5% increase in the number of ALC hospital beds in BC. Residential care costs about $200 a day. Treating seniors in hospital costs between $825 and $1,968.
• An increase in health spending in BC. Our spending has fallen to the second lowest per capita in Canada.
• Integrated, publicly-funded seniors’ services for interdisciplinary medical care and non-medical support services for seniors with complex health care needs. Patients who receive assistance in managing their own care are less likely to need to be readmitted to hospital.
• Social support as an integral aspect of care. The Public Health Agency of Canada notes that social support is a major determinant of health. Seniors who are connected with the community are more likely to stay independent and healthy. They have better self-esteem and an increased knowledge of available health and community resources. They engage in healthier behaviours.
It is up to us as seniors to hold our new MLA’s accountable
- by the Seniors Hub Council of Southeast Vancouver
We welcome your comments and feedback!