Dr. Granger Avery

Langley Seniors Summit addresses concerns with aging population

National strategy for seniors among top issues discussed at Thursday afternoon event




For the first time in Canadian history, seniors outnumber youth in population, and with that comes increasing pressures on health care systems.

As government and health officials continue to deliberate how best to handle this rapid change in demographics, Langley-Aldergrove MP Mark Warawa turned to Langley seniors themselves to ask for solutions.

On Thursday, Warawa, who serves as the Official Opposition Critic for Seniors, co-hosted a Langley Seniors Summit at the Langley Seniors Resource Centre for residents to learn and share innovative ideas for improving senior’s care.

The event — which saw around 40 people attend — featured presentations from Dr. Granger Avery, president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), and Lori Godin, manager of clinical operations for seniors at Langley Memorial Hospital.

Of the feedback received so far, Warawa said seniors are asking for a minister for seniors, a national strategy for seniors, a national strategy for palliative care and a national strategy for dementia.

“For the first time in Canadian history there are more seniors than there are youth, right now. And it’s going to change and continue to change even more dramatically,” Warawa said.

“We need to prepare for that because, what does that mean? Do we have the resources to take care of our aging population? Do we build thousands of new care facilities? We can’t afford to do that, that’s not possible. So how do we care for our aging population?”

Currently, one in six Canadians are considered seniors, and that is expected to increase to one in four in the next 13 years.

For the health care industry to accommodate this, Dr. Avery told the audience that major changes are needed.

“We, unfortunately, as a country, have not really got ahead of this wave. We have not really planned for this. And our system, which was set up to work well in the ’60s, I don’t think is keeping up with what the requirements of the people are in Canada,” Avery said.

“We need to change the way that the health care in Canada is planned and is managed.”

Part of this process includes renegotiating the Health Accord between the federal government and Canada’s provinces and territories — a process which is now underway.

“This Health Accord will address money … but I think it must be more than that. I think it must be about how we go about making decisions, and who manages those decisions,” Avery said.

“People across Canada are getting different levels of care, different levels of access and etc.”

In B.C., 43 per cent of the provincial budget is spent on health care, Avery said, with seniors accounting for a large portion of this.

He is a large supporter of the CMA’s campaign to have the government create a national strategy for seniors by the year 2019. The association has created the website demandaplan.ca as an arm to do this, and has received support from more than 36,000 people through this online platform.

For more information, click here.

Just Posted

Firefighters come to the rescue of Langley stroke survivors

Hope After Stroke receives major infusion after Cruise-In donation falls short of expectation.

Cloverdale banker shares his love of swing dancing

Cloverdale’s Phillip Kunz shows dancing newcomers how to get into the swing of things

Woman charged in Abbotsford mall stabbing served time for 2001 killing

Victim in Edmonton killing was stabbed eight times with kitchen knife

Trial date scheduled for man charged with killing Abbotsford officer

Oscar Arfmann slated to go to trial in New Westminster in January 2019

All welcome to go on Whoo’s Hoot Owl Prowl in South Langley

Evening event focuses on owls at Campbell Valley Regional Park

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Council tells TransLink commission to make sure road pricing is fair

Maple Ridge tells road pricing commission to make sure system is fair

Most Read