McLean: Canada needs to take better care of its seniors

Written By Guest User, Posted on June 17, 2020

According to Statistics Canada, low-income seniors were less likely to have a high level of social support, defined as always or often having people to depend on when in need of help, than their high-income counterparts in private residences. The 2016 study did not reflect those 6.8 per cent of Canadians aged 65 or older that lived in nursing homes or other seniors’ residences.

Those with a family income of less than $40,000 experienced high levels of social support only 77.1 per cent of the time, as compared to those making over $40,000 and $80,000, who received high social support levels in 82.1 and 88.8 percent of cases.

The demographics with the lowest levels of social support included seniors (age 65 to 69), men (age 65 or older), seniors living with others (with or without spouse), those living in urban areas and immigrant seniors.

Seniors who experienced mental health conditions “Always or often” experienced high levels of social support a measly 66.5 percent of the time. 10.8 percent received little to no support.

While those most susceptible to COVID-19-related deaths (aged 80 and older) received high levels of social support in private residences, those who lived in seniors’ homes or other residences were not accounted for.

While the study does not reflect the reality of seniors during the pandemic, Conservative MP, Greg McLean, states that he receives concerns frequently over the lack of support for Canadians 65 years or older.

“I get that question in my office on a day-to-day basis,” he says. “There is a large segment of society that receives very low benefits. Old Age Security, combined with the Guaranteed Income Supplement, provides a very basic income.”

“The Bank of Canada estimates costs have increased by two per cent in 2020, but are missing other factors in their formulation. In Calgary, municipal taxes have increased by 10 per cent, which is a monumental amount, especially for those on a fixed-income, who can’t take another 10 per cent hit.”

Yesterday, the prime minister announced that CERB payments would be expanded by an additional eight weeks for Canadians who have met the necessary qualifications. The final period to collect income for remains October 2nd, 2020, with previous claims valid until December.

However, seniors were not privy to an increase in their one-time $500 deposit that was set for June. Of that sum, $300 is for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security pension, and the remaining $200 for those eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

On the topic of long-term care homes, McLean assures those foreign-owned facilities, as is the case for twenty such facilities in British Columbia, are under provincial jurisdiction. 

“There is a difference between investing in a company in a country and actually controlling the labour in that country,” he says, “All the labour and health standards are provincial jurisdiction, and it’s up to the provincial authorities to enforce those standards.”

At least four facilities owned by the Anbang Insurance Group faced dozens of complaints about the “neglect” and “emotional abuse” of its residences.

McLean also notes that Albertan facilities, owned and operated by the Public Service Pension Plan, faced chief complaints on its employees’ mistreatment of patients.

“We as a society have dropped the ball on how we treat our most elderly. They need social support mechanisms that ensure they are safe and secure. That lack of these systems has continued during COVID, and it’s not unique to Alberta or B.C., or who the owner was to those facilities.”

He concludes, “What I want to see from the government is that the health of our seniors is taken care of and that those who take care of them need to meet better standards “ 

Guest User

One response to “McLean: Canada needs to take better care of its seniors”

  1. Gail Ewing says:

    Deb Schulte needs to go

    Deb Schulte needs to go!

    In an interview it was obvious by her tone that she actually has animosity toward seniors. A reporter had asked her why some of the population was receiving financial assistance and seniors were not. She said "they got their cheques this month", meaning Old Age Pension and Guaranteed Supplement if applicable. Her tone was so very condecending that it was obvious the government didn’t think we needed anything more to help get us through is Covid-19 period. These pensions do not even nearly cover basic expenses these days, and, seniors are in debt and using food banks just to try and get through even with the addition of CPP. Premier always refers to us as "the ones who built this country". Sure, we built it but there certainly is no thanks. We are at the bottom of the barrel and so are people with disabilities. This seniors pension amount is still in the $500.00 range, the same as it was 20 years ago and more. We built this country with no extra help from the government and paid top tax amount. At least the young families today do get assistance. Many of us worked for companies that did not offer a guaranteed company pension like everyone seems to think. If a senior is in one of these barns they call long term care all of the seniors’ cheques are taken with the exception of $100.00 which is used for tissues and other basic necessities.

    Deb Schulte is a disgrace and should not be in charge of our portfolio. Just ask any MP that hears from thousands of us every day asking the government to help us out a little more.