To The Editor:
Home care and support workers are undervalued. In New Brunswick the aging population is growing; it is one of the oldest provinces in Canada. It also has the lowest population of children according to the 2011 Census released by Statistics Canada. The proportion of seniors in N.B. increased by 15 per cent over the past five years, while the number of children decreased by four per cent.
Significant changes to the current home care system needs to take place; in a province with an aging population that will increase significantly by 2036, there is a need to provide more affordable housing for seniors to be able live at home and in their community for as long as they are able.
A key element for the federal government is to work in cooperation with the provinces to implement a National Home Care Program with standards and provisions of core services comparable from province to province. The best practices and standards would be the veterans’ programs which assist veterans to remain in their own homes and communities with an emphasis on independent living. The Manitoba model is another example which was established in its present form in September 1974. It is the oldest comprehensive, province-wide, universal home care program in Canada.
We of the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents Rights (CSNHRR) ask: why should seniors and support workers be undervalued? Living in dignity and with respect should be a priority for the aging population and the caregivers.
Cecile Cassista,