Seniors represent the fastest-growing demographic in the country, and our next federal government has an important role to play in adapting public policies and systems to the needs of today’s aging population, and in future-proofing our policies and systems for tomorrow’s seniors.
Across the country, COVID-19 has highlighted long-standing issues with long-term care. It has intensified the desire to age at home. Individuals with serious health conditions have been living in deplorable conditions for decades. No one should live like this. Canadians deserve better – they deserve leadership from all levels of government.
The federal government must create a coordinated national seniors strategy with dedicated funding and accountability goals to meet the evolving needs of older Canadians. The well-being of older adults in Canada now, and for years to come, depends on a commitment from the next federal government to support healthy aging and prioritize a coordinated, comprehensive national seniors strategy.
More than two million seniors qualify for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) which means that their annual income is less than $19,000. Only four in 10 Canadians are covered by any kind of registered retirement plan. The next federal government needs a plan to address retirement income security.
Many seniors go without the medication they need. All Canadians should have access to required prescriptions and a universal, public, comprehensive, accessible and portable pharmacare plan can help address that.
Our next federal government also needs to deliver better support for Canadian veterans. Many are dealing with illness, injury or trauma, and military and veteran women are still falling behind.
This federal election is an opportunity to champion innovative ideas to improve the health-care system, retirement income security, access to medication through pharmacare, and proper benefits for those who have served this country.
Chris MacMartin, Walnut Grove
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