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There's two sides to this topic. One side smacks of fantasy and the other kicks back with reality.

The status of "senior" sneaks up on us. I'm not necessarily speaking from experience but see some of it - much of the housing and health care is based on the family and the support it gives. When a level of support develops beyond the independent stage, the assisted or higher level residence requires more finances than can be afforded. In some cases, the family does little to make the last stage of life for parents what they deserve because of the enviable inheritance. Where there is no such fortune, such seniors have only their friends and neighbors to offer assistance. It's too much to expect neighbors to monitor medication or just simply, "Haven't seen George at the mail box for a week" scenario. 

Private businesses that use this an an entrepreneurial opportunity should be made accountable for their unaffordable fees. Showing an attitude of what their advertisement present they should offer consideration to assist with information to make the timely move when it is enjoyable and productive - not a crisis.

-- R. Hiebert

I don't think thats a fair statement to say, "A tidal wave of aging seniors is poised to swamp B.C.’s health-care system." I believe the problem is not the elder generation but rather the younger.

The sense of "entitlement" that they can see a doctor whenever they want for whatever and its "free". It's not free. Institute user fees, even if it's a dollar, so a monetary value is attached to accessing the system. Learn how to be proactive about our health instead of reactive, know when to see a doctor or when to take conservative measures. Addiction services cost us a FORTUNE as well - one patient on the methadone program that collects social services and is on a "daily witness" program can cost the system $1,000/month - for ONE PERSON! And ER visits - don't even get me started on that - "emergency" is exactly that, an emergency. It's not to utilize for a cough/cold, because it's closer than going to a walk-in clinic or because you have a headache when really it's the morphine they want. Don't blame it on our seniors, they didn't cause this.

-- Yvonne Cline Hamer

Who's going to look after mom and dad?

Elsie Dean is on the front lines of a potential crisis for seniors in B.C. The 89-year-old Burnaby woman volunteers with the 411 Seniors Society, so she literally hears the cries for help. From seniors living in isolation due to lack of home support and residential care spaces, to elderly citizens forced to leave homes because of skyrocketing rents, to HandyDart transportation routes cut. Last year, like many seniors, Dean was looking forward to positive reforms after provincial Ombudsperson Kim Carter published a series of investigations that exposed flaws in B.C.’s fragmented and hard-to-navigate senior care system. The Province’s national award-winning Boomerangst series — which recommended 10 policy and community-based solutions for system problems — was also influential in pointing to needed changes, the government said. About a year later, depending who you talk to, overhauls needed to handle B.C.’s rapidly aging population are basically complete, or lagging woefully.

Posted by BC Election 2013
I don't think these disaster projections take into account the Boomers tend to have a stronger awareness of health, nutritional supplements and are disciplined with heart and health regulating exercise like Yoga and hiking etc.

We also have a wealth and social safety that our elders did not enjoy that has allowed lives less ruled by stress and that will also be seen in the health of aging Boomers. Many Boomers are also aware and active in availing alternative health programs like acupuncture and other esoteric systems that improve body and mind health and deescalate stress. B.C. is a world leader in longevity and I believe we will continue to elevate strongly in that status in the near future. I don't believe politics attract the creative and bold thinkers and actors to promote the nutritional and as yet esoteric healing and health systems that could keep our seniors out of the health system. People who have knowledge need to share it, talk to parents and grandparents about high nutritional anti oxidants like wheat-grass juice, blue green algae and other 'power foods'. Western medical colleges have little interest in promoting health through nutrition, the average time spent on nutritional instruction for MD's is 3.5 to 4.5 hours over the term of 9 years higher learning. Exploding cancer rates from our polluted environment is what will break the MSP bank.

-- Vincent Walker

Seniors have long been ignored. We give their care over to the lowest paid health workers (aids vs registered nurses) who often do not speak English as a first language and come from a different culture.

By these actions we display no value to our elders. This for a vulnerable group who have no advocacy group to speak of and who can't speak for themselves. Be careful of the home care model also, as this is going to put a tremendous stress on families, who are often elderly themselves (80 yr old parents of 60 years old children who have their own health issues). Dumping the problem into the community didn't work for the mentally ill and it will create a host of problems for this group too. We need to jettison the old model and look at a holistic approach to elder care, with all health care professionals involved including physiotherapists, RNs, dieticians, social workers and perhaps lastly doctors.

-- jms

I believe as seniors we need to get away from the idea that 'government' must provide all services.

Get away from the 'medical model' of a pill for every pain and symptom. Instead we need to do our daily exercise, eat a healthier diet of mostly vegetables and fruits, and get out and give back to our communities with service. We as seniors must become a lot more self reliant and have those conversations with our children and grandchildren about end of life care so that it becomes a not unusual conversation the same way you would talk about any other aspects of life. Open up options for us to take control of when we want to pass. ETC...

-- Zephyr3

As a young disabled female with children, the suggestion to charge "user fees" would cripple my family even further.

I spend $500 a month on my medication, which is more than a third of my monthly disability income. I've had neck surgeries and now have nerve damage and i get pain IVs and spine needles regularly. 

I was injured a couple years back and WCB has failed to actually insure me, so to feed and house my kids, I've had to get a line of credit that is now racked up over $10,000. I had to move to a bigger city because I could not get any treatments in my community and I could no longer drive 6 hours return with my kids every other week as they were missing too much school. I had to wait years for my surgery and it would have been a 2 year wait for my MRI if i had not written my MLA. I had no income during this wait period. I'm not feeling very "entitled" as a previous poster suggested us young people are. I feel ignored and forgotten by this Government! 

I think if we want to save money, more prescriptions should be available without having to see your doctor. The patient needs to be trusted and given more power in the system. For instance, I've been on the same medication for 15 years. Why should I need a prescription regularly which costs the tax payer $300 for the doctor visit? If I have new symptoms, the meds don't work or if i start a new medication, I am intelligent enough to know that I should check with my doctor for interactions with my other meds. Certain birth controls should also be available through the Pharmacist. I think a Pharmacist should be able to prescribe some medications as they have access to your prescription history. This would help take pressure off of the doctors. Let the doctors deal with medical injuries and diagnoses etc!

-- Da Wheaton

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