Plan with Canadian seniors, not for them

Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of B.C. writes about seniors issues

It’s nice to be remembered. And it’s for a whole week, not just 15 minutes.

The provincial government proclaimed June 3 to 9 as Seniors’ Week. Political leaders issued statements about the contributions seniors have made to our province’s economy and society as a whole.

A few of us old folks were talking about it the other day. We’re honoured to have a whole week. Someone noted that mothers and fathers only get a day and we qualify for those days as well.

It’s always welcome when people say nice things about you – especially when they do so before you’re dead.

But we also came to the conclusion that something is missing in the discussion of seniors’ issues. The key point is that we’re still alive, still as active as we can be, still anxious to help build a better province.

There’s a large demographic shift underway. The people of B.C. and Canada are getting older. It creates both opportunities and challenges. It also creates a real need for political leadership.

We have a hodge podge of approaches to aging. Responsibility is divided among a host of federal and provincial government ministries. Local governments also have a role in creating age-friendly communities.

There’s no doubt it’s easier said than done, but what we really need is a comprehensive, co-ordinated approach to this demographic change.

The driving force should be to help seniors stay active, healthy and independent.

Too often, government programs treat symptoms rather than reach for the real goal. They put a cast on the broken leg, rather than working to prevent the fall. They provide inadequate home care and home support services, forcing many seniors into residential care homes, or even acute care beds. It doesn’t make sense economically or socially.

Other countries have faced demographic shifts. We’re not the first. Their solutions are quite different from what we see here today. They focus on independence. Home care. Home support. Independent living arrangements. Opportunities for social contact. And public pensions sufficient to lift seniors out of poverty.

We don’t claim that age gives you wisdom, but it does give you experience. Seniors are an asset, not a liability to society. We have no desire to be put into expensive facilities where we can vegetate and wait to die. We want to fully participate, advocate on public issues, fulfill our responsibilities as citizens, and help to create a more civil society for our children and grandchildren. And we must be involved in planning our own futures.

Art Kube is the president of the Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of B.C., a federation of 80 organizations throughout the province, representing more than 80,000 seniors.

Just Posted

Victoria resident catches, cleans pigeon feet to help fight stringfoot

Hair, string tangled around birds’ feet can cut off circulation to toes and whole feet

Cyclists rejoice as the Christmas Lights Parade returns

Family-friendly 10km ride visits big Christmas displays, Dec. 21

Victoria residents advocate for funding for neighbourhoods without community centres

North Park Neighbourhood Association hopes to see $75,000 to bolster nearby staff

North Saanich woman arrested after police pursuit, alleged abduction at elementary school

Two police officers were injured and one police vehicle damaged

Sidney Capital Iron closes its doors in January

The store opened in 1988 and staff continue to search for a ‘suitable location’

VIDEO: These are the top toys this Christmas, B.C. toy experts say

Consider the play value of a game, staff at Toy Traders say

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Suspect steals 150 pairs of cosmetic contacts from Nanaimo party supply store

Incident happened at Pattie’s Party Palace on Rutherford Road on Thursday

Most Read