BC Government to Invest in Seniors Care? ShawTV “Voice of BC” Feb 9 2017

One other sector that does have political capital and certainly gets the ears of government because they vote in great numbers and that’s seniors and with a question along those lines is Selina Robinson of the NDP. John Horgan, Judy Darcy and I have been hosting seniors forums past year all across the province. One consistent theme we’ve been hearing is about the burden of caring for aging parents. More recently the BC Care Providers put out a report talking very specifically about the sandwich generation – the generation that’s taking care of young children and aging parents. What do you think this government’s response should be that sandwich generation? That report very interesting, calling for I think for well more than a billion dollars over a period of years poured into programs to assist seniors and people who are being squeezed the Sandwich Generation looking after their Millennials and their aging seniors. So there’s a lot of money attached this, but I would think politicians would be smart to at least listen to this particular argument because as I say these people vote in much greater numbers than the Millennials do. Yeah, absolutely what’s the stat? More people voted who were over the age of 85 in the last BC election under the age of 25. Just really astounding to think about. Fraser Health Authority cancelled 80 acute care beds for seniors and instead put that money into home care and found that they were able to stretch your dollar nine or ten times further in the number of people they care for. The BC Care Providers report also talks about how fifteen percent or so seniors who are in the hospital now could have the same amount of care or get the care they need in a home situation. So, there is a real economic case there to be made. Why are we paying for a senior to be in the hospital with doctors and nurses and all this expense – eighteen hundred dollars a day or so – when we care for them for about two hundred dollars there’s a good taxpayer case for that. It seems the whole area of policy area of seniors is just going to start growing exponentially as more and more people – the baby boomers shift into retirement. And there’s no question people are squeezed from the childcare side and from the senior side you on the senior side we’ve seen just in the past days that the Seniors Advocate finding that 9-out-of-10 of these long-term care homes are not staffed at the government-owned minimum standards. It’s absurd and at the same time we’re under-investing in home care—total home care hours are down and there there are efficiencies to be had by properly staffing both of those types of facilities. It takes pressure off the acute care system and it’s the right thing to do from the perspective of those families who are squeezed. I would think, Jordan, the Budget is going to have some sort of new dollars are to tackle this but not to the extent that the organization is looking for, but certainly more than is there right now. Yeah, I would be shocked if there wasn’t some sort of announcement on this because like you said they are such an important voting group. The other thing though that needs to happen is baby boomers need to start coming out of denial. I remember when I was on council in Langley we would talk about senior services and baby boomers would glaze over – “well, I’m not senior”. Well, you’re 65 you kinda are a senior. Now seniors I think see themselves being older like you’ve got to be 80 or 85 to be a senior. Part of that now the baby boomers are finally getting to that even more advanced stage where we can start having these conversations.

Stephen Childs

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