The number one cause of dependency and disability in seniors is dementia.
Our health care system needs to focus resources on the increase in the diseases of aging, particularly dementia and Alzheimer’s.
We need to significantly improve supports for family members. So often a senior becomes the full-time caregiver for their spouse. Particularly, seniors of limited means lose any potential for enjoying life as they sacrifice for their partner. Better respite programmes, better supports for home care, as well as more beds in long-term senior care facilities are urgently needed, with supports from both federal and provincial governments.
We also need to have a conversation about the loss of basic rights experienced by seniors in care. One of the most shocking trends that I have uncovered since becoming an MP is the loss of basic human rights for seniors in residential care. Shockingly, I have heard dozens of stories of seniors being denied access to family members, being placed on drugs they do not want, and even being denied the right to go home to family members who would welcome them.