Here at the CCPA, we are exploring how we can ensure our elders have the resources and supports needed to retain their health and dignity as they grow older. Many British Columbians wonder if our health system will be able to provide a high standard of care to the whole population as the baby boomer generation ages. In 2012, those over 55 constituted 1/3 of our total population — a significant portion of the voting public. Yet in recent months there’s been little media attention or public debate about health care in general, and more specifically seniors care.
More than a year after the Ombudsperson released a comprehensive report on the crisis in BC’s system of seniors care, we are still waiting to hear when and how the government will implement the Ombudsperson’s recommendations.
We are waiting to see more attention to the fact that as we age in this province, we become increasingly isolated and disenfranchised due to fewer and fewer social support programs, options for adequate and affordable housing, less accessible transportation options, and a starved home and community health care sector. We are waiting for improved access to home support services and residential care beds, which in turn will relieve hospital overcrowding.
We can’t wait anymore, though. With a provincial election on the horizon, we have an opportunity to ensure these issues are front-and-centre in public policy debates. To inform those discussions, the CCPA is developing a series of fact sheets complete with relevant questions citizens and organizations can put to their local decision makers and candidates.
Our first fact sheet looks at how we can provide better care to seniors while improving access to health care for everyone. Keep your eye out for translations in other languages coming soon. The next in the series will look at seniors’ housing needs.
You can find the fact sheet here. Please feel free to download, copy, share…And help create an informed public debate!