Seniors issues and pensions

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(Vancouver) Poverty and economic insecurity among BC seniors is growing, according to a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. After rapid declines over the 1970s, 80s and 90s, seniors’ poverty rose from a low of 2.2% in 1996 to 12.7% in 2014 (the most recent year data is available)—and many more seniors have incomes just above the poverty line.
It is becoming far too common. Many of us have a parent, relative or neighbour who has struggled to get the home support they need. Perhaps they have even waited in hospital because residential care or rehabilitation services were not available. 
Home and community care services in BC—home health care, assisted living and residential care—require urgent attention. For the past 16 years, underfunding, privatization and fragmentation of the system have left many seniors, their families and communities patching together care and even going without. This report shows that increasing access to home and community care doesn’t just benefit seniors, it is widely acknowledged as key for reducing hospital overcrowding and surgical wait times.
Despite the BC government’s recent $500 million injection of funding into the home and community care system, much remains to be done to provide adequate care for seniors and improve health care wait times for all British Columbians, says a new report released today.
This book provides concrete examples of promising practices for physical environments in long-term residential care: everything from the location of a nursing home and the structure of gardens to the floor coverings, chair arms, and spaces for memorials. Physical environments are about more than setting the conditions for living and care provision. They also shape and reflect how care and life in nursing homes are understood. They construct limits and possibilities for residents, staff, families and volunteers.
Budget 2016 pledges $160 million to create 1,200 new Personal Home Care (PCH) spaces. It is to be hoped that this laudable move will be implemented based on the evidence. Regrettably this is a practice woefully lacking.
Pensions and the retirement security concerns of Canadians have been in the news in a big way in recent years. With two-thirds of Canadian workers not covered by a workplace pension plan and a majority of citizens not contributing to RRSPs (almost $1 trillion in unused contribution room) many look to governments to show leadership on this looming pan-Canadian public policy issue.  In both the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) debates, Manitoba’s voice has been both clear and strong in favour of the interests and well-being of workers and their families.
UNSPUN is the 2016 provincial election commentary series from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Manitoba
This book reports on the findings of an international team of 26 researchers and more than 50 graduate students who went to six countries in a search for promising practices in long term residential care for the elderly. It presents concrete examples of how long term care might be organized and undertaken in more promising ways that respect the needs of residents, families, workers and managers.