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. Access to home care, improvements to long-term care facilities, reliable access to safe and appropriate prescription drugs and a greater focus on community building to combat social isolation are all issues that can no longer be ignored. Programs must be put in place with national standards, and funding tied to accountability to meet these standards.
In British Columbia, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated long-standing issues with the level and quality of care in long-term care homes. While the BC government has taken steps to reduce the impact of this pandemic on the residents of these facilities, more needs to be done to improve their quality of life and the quality of life of their informal caregivers and support workers. Long-term care residents deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion.
As we enter the next phase of the pandemic, we will need to address additional health-care concerns, including backlogs for surgical and medical procedures, mental health impacts and the social effects of restrictive measures put in place to stop the spread of the virus.
British Columbia’s next government needs to commit to tackle the changes needed by older adults in this province.
Ask your local candidates and parties about their plan for integrated community and long-term care for older adults and a seniors strategy for British Columbia.
COVID-19 and this provincial election are opportunities to transform our health-care system and services for older adult for the better.
We are all in this together.
Stuart Wilson, Surrey