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LETTER: B.C.'s senior's care program needs to be overhauled

Dear Editor;
 
As one of the nominees for the New Democratic Party (NDP) I have been out talking to the membership and the public about seniors care in this province.  British Columbia has the highest poverty rate in Canada. One in nine people in this province live in poverty and many of them are seniors.
 
We have had a 30 percent decrease between 2001 and 2007 in funding for home care. Proper funding to home care would take pressure off of the health care system by keeping seniors in their homes longer.
 
As our seniors enter the last years of their lives there are many challenges that they face. The burden is then placed on their families. Some seniors do not have family members to advocate for them. This also puts added pressures on our elderly. 
 
The BC Medical Association reports that B.C. is in last place in all of Canada in residential care funding. Staffing levels in residential care facilities are all over the map. This province needs to have a minimum level of care in place to protect the seniors of this province. If you would like more information on seniors care in this province, see the documentary video, The Remaining Light.
 
Rhonda Bruce NDP Nominee

Oliver, B.C.