All About Estates

Senior’s Issues and the Upcoming Federal Election

I had a wonderful opportunity last week to be part of panel discussion on CTV Your Morning  to discuss issues that are critical for seniors.  Certainly an important topic as we approach election day.

The National Seniors Strategy   is really the document that outlines what needs to be done.  I cannot comment on what the parties promise or what they will implement, but I know that much work has gone into a solid document that outlines a number of key issues. The research and report were written in Jan 2016, with Dr. Samir Sinha taking a lead role.  They identified 12 policy issues  under ‘four overarching pillars or themes; and supported by five core principles essential to understanding the needs of Canada’s ageing population.”  The principles identified are:

  1. Independent, Productive & Engaged Citizens (remaining independent and productive)
  • Making addressing ageism, elder abuse and social isolation a national priority
  • Ensuring older Canadians do not live in poverty (increasing CPP for example)
  • Ensuring access to affordable housing and transportation
  • Enabling age friendly physical environment and spaces
  1. Health And Active Lives
  • Ensuring older Canadians are supported to engage in wellness and prevention activities that enable healthy aging ( ie falls prevention)
  • Improving access to medically necessary and appropriate medications
  • Ensuring older Canadians and their caregivers are enable to participate in informed health decision – making and advance care planning
  1. Care Closer To Home (person- centered, high quality, integrated care close to home provided by those with knowledge and skill)
  • Ensuring access to appropriate high quality home and community care, long term care, palliative and end of life services
  • Ensuring access to care providers that are trained to specifically provide the care they need ( there are under 300 geriatricians in Canada)
  • Developing standardized metrics and accountability standards to enable a National Senior’s Strategy
  1. Support For Caregivers (acknowledge and support the family and friends who provide unpaid care)
  • It is estimated that unpaid caregivers provided care that would have cost our system around $30 Billion
  • Ensuring older Canadians are supported in the workplace (does your company offer Elder Care as part of its Employee Assistance program?)
  • Ensuring caregivers are not penalized when taking on caregiving roles (caregiver tax credits, caregiver allowances, greater flexibility in the workplace)

The ground work has been laid, now it is up to the parties to outline how they are going to achieve and implement these recommendations.

About Audrey Miller
Email: amiller@eldercaring.ca About: Audrey Miller, Managing Director of Elder Caring Inc. has over 25 years social work and rehabilitation experience working with older individuals and their families. She advises the financial, insurance, legal and business communities regarding elder care issues. Audrey is a recognized expert in her field.

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