We need British Columbia’s next provincial government to act on the concerns of our seniors.
The well-being of older adults in British Columbia will depend on the commitment of the provincial government to work with the federal government to implement a national seniors strategy.
There is urgent need for improvements in the quality of care in long-term care facilities and improvements in access to home care.
All levels of government should work together to define standards of care and to make funding contingent on meeting those standards.
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated long-standing issues with the level and quality of care in long-term care homes.
While the B.C. government has taken some steps to reduce the impact of this pandemic, more needs to be done to improve not only the quality of life of the residents, but the quality of life of their support workers and their unpaid caregivers.
Long-term care residents deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion.
There is need for a comprehensive strategy to address the broader range of issues facing seniors.
Quality care for the frail elderly is one essential element, as is reliable access to safe and appropriate prescription drugs.
Seniors should be involved in developing plans to strengthen communities to combat social isolation. Such basics as income security, adequate housing, and reliable transportation are social determinants of health for seniors and all Canadians.
As British Columbians cast their ballots, we urge them to reflect upon what the local candidates and parties have said about their commitment to a comprehensive seniors strategy.
Ian Spence, President Fraser Valley West Branch of National Association of Federal Retirees