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BC Seniors Advocate Wants To Change Conversation Around Aging

Seniors Week ended in BC on June 9, 2018. Isobel MacKenzie, Seniors Advocate for BC wants to use more positive language when discussion older citizens of BC. For example, we should not say that seniors are a problem to be solved or a cost curve to be bent. We should be talking about the fact that seniors are some of the biggest contributors to the well-being of society. Seniors are working more often and are enthusiastic volunteers.

Read more information and listen to a 10 minute interview with Isobel Mackenzie on the CBC News Website.

Social Isolation And Loneliness Among Seniors Forum

The Quadra Granville Seniors Group and the South Granville Seniors Centre sponsored a free forum on Social Isolation and Loneliness Among Seniors (SILAS); an issue that has been identified as a major concern in our society causing significant negative effects on health, health care costs and personal well-being. The forum was a success with over 130 attendees.

This Forum’s intent was to further the dialogue on this important topic by bringing together all elements of our community.

Click here to visit the Quadra Granville Seniors Group SILAS Forum Summary Web page.

Shaping Canada’s 4th Plan on Open Government

Dear friends of Open Government,

We’re almost at the end of our consultation phase, where we’ve been meeting with hundreds of Canadians to gather their inputs to help us shape our next National Action Plan on Open Government for 2018-20. We still have a few events coming up in the next weeks, so be sure to have a look at our Engagement schedule to see what we’re doing and which topics we’re discussing. You can also participate online by sharing your ideas until March 25th! Continue reading “Shaping Canada’s 4th Plan on Open Government”

CMA: “Demand a National Seniors Strategy”

Close to 17% of Canada’s population is 65 or older. By 2031, Statistics Canada projects that one in four Canadians will be seniors.

With Canada’s population aging, maintaining the status quo for seniors health care is not an option. Our health care system was designed a half-century ago, and it has not kept pace with the issues of the elderly in Canada. Today, seniors need better solutions, services and support.

Faced with that reality, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has been demanding that a national seniors strategy be implemented by 2019.

Continue reading “CMA: “Demand a National Seniors Strategy””

Let’s Talk Senior Housing Town Hall

On February 21, 2018, the Cloverdale-Langley City Seniors Group sponsored a Town Hall about Senior Housing Issues. The Town Hall was very successful, more than 150 people attended.

The Town Hall panel was moderated by John Aldag, MP Cloverdale Langley City. The panel members were;

  • BC Seniors Advocate Isobel McKenzie
  • Andrew Middleton, a consultant from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
  • Naomi Brunemeyer, BC Housing’s director of regional development for the Lower Mainland
  • Mike Clay, mayor of Port Moody and chair of the Metro Vancouver Regional District housing committee
  • Adam Vaughan, MP Trinity-Spadina; video link conversation with John Aldag

Continue reading “Let’s Talk Senior Housing Town Hall”

Social Isolation, a Growing Epidemic

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom recently appointed one of her ministers, Tracey Crouch, to lead an inter-governmental group tasked with countering a growing epidemic of social isolation and loneliness.

The appointment was made in response to a report published by the Commission on Loneliness, set up to honor the late Jo Cox, a Labour MP who had campaigned about loneliness and was murdered by a right wing extremist in 2016.

In her announcement Prime Minister May said: “For far too many people, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life.” and “I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones – people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with.”

Continue reading “Social Isolation, a Growing Epidemic”

Health Canada Funded by Drug Companies

Before 1994, Health Canada was funded solely by tax dollars; after 1994, Drug Companies paid a fee to Health Canada for the drug approval process and those fees currently fund 50% of this process. Health Canada wants to increase that 50% to 90% and in addition, it will rebate 25 per cent of that fee if it fails to review new drug applications within a specified period of time.

This change how Health Canada is funded creates some issues.

  • Mixed goals. The public’s goal is to have safe and effective drugs. The pharmaceutical industry’s goal is to get its products approved quickly and to sell them to a large audience.
  • There is no evidence that faster drug approval is of benefit to public health; there is evidence of considerable harm.
  • Most new drugs approved in Canada are no more effective and no safer than existing alternatives. Between 2010 and 2016, only 10.6 per cent of new patented drugs were classified as a substantial improvement or a breakthrough.
  • Drugs approved in 300-days have about a one in five chance of having a serious new safety warning issued once they are on the market. If drugs are approved in 180 days, that probability rises to a one in three chance.
  • Products approved within 60 days of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) mandated deadline in the United States were five times more likely to be withdrawn from the market for safety reasons and four times more likely to carry a serious safety warning than drugs approved in a longer approval process.
  • To make Drug approvals independent of pressure from drug companies, the government should eliminate drug company user fees and fund Health Canada fully through tax revenues.

Continue reading “Health Canada Funded by Drug Companies”

Seniors Worried About Healthcare Costs in Retirement

A majority of seniors or soon-to-be retirees are concerned whether their finances will be able to stretch far enough to cover serious future health issues.

Take for example, home care, which is partially covered for those who qualify. Consider the fact 8 million Canadians provide care for loved ones, with 8 in 10 of them finding it a difficult task. Home care is considered an “extended” service under the Canada Healthcare Act and is 80% funded by the Ministry of Health and Longterm Care: the rest is privately provided, with hourly costs ranging from $25 to $125.

Continue reading “Seniors Worried About Healthcare Costs in Retirement”

2017 Vancouver Homeless Count

The 2017 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count counted the number of homeless people over a 24-hour period on March 8, 2017.

The count highlighted the increasing number of seniors that are experiencing homelessness

A total of 380 seniors between 55 and 65 years and another 176 seniors above the age of 65 years responded to the survey on March 8, for a total of 556 seniors. Seniors aged 55 and over represented 23% of the homeless population compared to 18% in 2014. This continues the upward trend of seniors in relation to the total homeless population that has been evident since the 2008 Count. Continue reading “2017 Vancouver Homeless Count”