Let’s focus more on our seniors

By: Cindy Lamoureux, MLA – Burrows

We need to focus more attention on our seniors.

Prior to entering politics I worked for senior care in our province and through this experience as well as being the seniors critic over the last few years and having the privilege of meeting with various groups, I have extended my knowledge and since become very concerned with the lack of efforts being invested into our Seniors.

Our province needs more personal care home beds, but a personal care home is not the only facility for seniors. We also, desperately, need Supportive Housing Homes, Retirement (55+ homes), Independent living homes and hospices because right now many seniors are living stretches of their lives in hospital beds which is not only damaging to our health care system (prevents others from using the hospital) but it also is detrimental to a persons respiratory system and their bones.

Providing Home care services is an exceptionally admirable job and I would like to thank all of our home care workers for the work they do. Our province needs to have certain standards and there needs to be accountability. People who receive home care deserve the upmost of care and respect and the Government should be committed to working with various home care associations to spread more throughout our province so seniors can remain in the homes and be able to live their best life.

Providing affordable Senior Day programs offer opportunities for seniors to socialize with others through physical and cognitive strengthening activities. If we want to see our Seniors be healthy and live their lives to the fullest for as long as possible, we need to be creating more programs and investing in our current resources.

It was actually during the last provincial election where I first discussed the idea of a national pharmacare plan with my father who happens to be the MP for Winnipeg North. I told him about a constituent of mine who was being forced to choose between food on her table and her prescribed medications. In curiosity we did some research and learnt that one in ten seniors are being forced to choose between the two.

Without a shadow of a doubt, if a senior is prescribed medication for their health, we as a province should be finding a way to ensure they receive their prescription.

This would not only, again, serve for the betterment of our seniors lifestyles, but also save enormously on being re-admitted into hospitals.

I believe the issues above should remain non-partisan and therefore Manitoba would do well to have a Seniors Advocate.

In wrapping up I wanted to reiterate the importance that Seniors, any Manitoban for this matter, should be forced to choose between shelter, food on their tables or being able to afford their prescribed medications.

If you have any ideas about senior care in our province, please email me at cindy@gocindy.ca