Town Hall on Seniors issues
I recently went to a Town Hall of Senior's Issues, and I thought the event was interesting as it addressed many of the topics I talk about here. So I thought I would share my notes.
ISSUES RAISED BY THE MP
Seniors caregivers and family are going to their MPs and MLA’S for assistance and needed access to Medical, dental housing. There has been an increase in OAS but only for those over 75 to help some seniors.
ISSUES RAISED BY THE SENIOR CENTRE
There appears to be a downloading of services from Service Canada to Senior Centers who are using volunteers to help seniors with issues with their GIS, Old Age Security, Medical and Disability forms and Income Tax. There is a dramatic increase in the number of homeless seniors in the area, making affordable housing a priority. Vancouver defines affordable rent as $1647.00 a month.
The trend to digitizing services, (finding, using and paying for services) at the local, the provincial and federal levels is causing hardship for seniors, who, cannot afford computers, or the internet or do not have the digital literacy required to use these tools.
ISSUES RAISED BY Council Of Senior Citizens Organization of BC
Issue of the number of medications being used by seniors and the costs associated with these medications. The issue around who will decide what drugs are available for seniors being left to a committee of Economists and Civil Servants who until asked by COSCO and the Federal Pensioners Association did not consider any issues of medications that seniors might have. COSCO in their conference in October will be addressing the issue of ageism
ISSUES RAISED BY MOSAIC
41%of all seniors in BC are immigrants according to MOSAIC. These seniors have issues with Language causes barriers to socialization, integration, getting housing, medical and other services they need. They also are more likely to suffer Elder Abuse
ISSUES RAISED BY SERVICES CANADA
Services Canada cannot by regulation help seniors fill out forms they need to access a range of services, they can help by answering questions. This has led to the belief that Services Canada is downloading its work to Senior Centers. Services Canada will come to seniors’ centers to talk to groups about how to best access their services. One hint is given if you have to phone any federal government office phone on Wednesday or Thursday after 2:00 if you are in the West. Also, if you get a “Busy signal, dial 10 and you will be put back to the main menu, may save to do these five or six times to get into the cue, but you still have a long wait
ISSUES RAISED BY QUESTIONS FROM SENIORS AT THE MEETING
There were issues raised about:
· Access to information about programs
· How do people with dementia can get help?
· Ageism in the healthcare system and the issue of no longer having a yearly medical check-up.
· The disability tax credit
· OAS and GIS not being tied to inflation
· Affordable housing
· National Pharmacare and what it would look like and when it might be implemented.
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