It was a wonderful event for seniors and their family members from within the Burnaby community to come listen to Isobel's views about the evolving landscape in BC with regards to the senior population and the key initiatives that that her office was driving for seniors over the next few years.
In an informative talk Isobel took the gathering through the current lay of the land on senior demographics, detailed priority tasks in the future and outlined some of the challenges expected; while presenting her ideas effectively with latest data and statistical trends. Some interesting data points from the information Isobel provided about the ageing population in BC:
Isobel highlighted the many government support programs and services that are available to seniors for support within the Burnaby, Vancouver communities and across the BC province. The list included a wide-ranging scope of initiatives including residential support, home modifications, pension assistance, fair pharmacare, transportation and home care support services.
Considering the evolving senior's landscape, home care support services will have a central role to play towards well-being of the ageing and their families in the coming future. With the overwhelming majority of seniors still expected to be living independently (~93%), the need to have efficient home care services including assistance with daily activities such as meals, medications, housekeeping, errands, laundry, companionship support, personal and hygiene care, will become all the more crucial.
This will require a focused coordination between community and private home care resources such that seniors at every level of need and resource means, can be offered the right level of assistance in an effective and timely manner.
It was heartening to see that Isobel and her team are also focussed on this with an example being their efforts to modify the Choices in Supports for Independent Living Program ('CSIL') which is a self-managed model of care where people receive funds to purchase and manage private home support services.
At present, CSIL is quite complicated and only allows the participant to hire private caregivers for home care services. Isobel stated her views that the program needs to be simplified a lot more and that the program should offer seniors the choice of hiring not just private caregivers but also home care agencies if they so choose. This is a commendable step from the perspective of seniors who may want to consider high-quality home care operators such as Home Instead Senior Care (Burnaby and South Vancouver) vs. taking on some of the cumbersome issues that may arise in hiring caregivers privately. If these changes are made, the seniors will win back the freedom of choice to partake in premium home care services and not necessarily be bound due to a lack of funds or other restrictions in the CSIL program.