Seniors Team Update Spring 2015
The Seniors Team is organizing our next round of house meetings. Their focus is enabling seniors to remain in their homes for as long as possible. With the imminent Provincial Election, the Seniors Team’s is working to keep their issues front and centre, as the media focuses on the economy and the credibility of the current government.
We need to keep seniors issues up front. The Seniors Team has identified three key areas of services:
- Personal supports – housekeeping, cleaning, gardening, snow shovelling and small repairs.
- Mobility and safety – transportation, grocery shopping, financial aid
- Connectedness – social isolation, loneliness, poor access to health and social services.
The seniors identified that although they tend to be asset rich, they are income poor. It is clear that Federal and Provincial median income to qualify for financial assistance is too high, for “middle income” seniors to qualify for support. Alberta Health’s 2010 policy framework for an ageing population states as a goal to “increase the supply and range of home care and community care services to assist Albertans to receive services in the community.”
The question is whether we have the imagination to understand that or whether we will continue to pretend that the slack will be picked up through the ever-decreasing volunteer sector and decreasing social capital. We can choose to put some key soft supports in place which in a short while will pay for themselves or we can wait until the medical costs overwhelm us. It is time for action, its time for our system to evolve!