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Manitoba needs a seniors’ advocate

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/10/2020 (825 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Over the past few weeks the idea of having a seniors’ advocate in Manitoba has gained a lot of traction.

I want to use this as an opportunity to share with you how this idea came to light and why I believe Manitoba could greatly benefit from having a seniors’ advocate.

Prior to being an MLA, I worked for the Long Term and Continuing Care Association of Manitoba. This is where I first started learning about the issues facing seniors here in our province. When I was elected in 2016, I continued to learn from constituents who are seniors about concerns related to home  care visits, needed renovations, prescription medications, ambulance fees and placement in care homes.

Home care visits take place all over the world and I have come to understand that some of Manitoba’s issues with home care could be better prevented. For example, home-care workers should not have to rush from one side of the city to the other within a 30-minute time span. Some workers are feeling too rushed and some individuals receiving home care are unsatisfied with the care they receive.

Many seniors say they want to remain in their homes. In some cases, a small detail is not allowing them to do so. For example, some seniors may need to have their concrete front steps turned into ramps so they can comfortably enter and leave their homes but they’re not in a position to pay for this renovation. But we know that creating opportunities for seniors to remain in their homes, in their communities, and enabling routine and familiarity is good for mental health.

Prescription medications and ambulance fees are issues currently being debated at provincial and federal levels. There are times when seniors have to choose between eating a meal and being able to afford their prescribed medications. I have also had seniors stress to me that there have been occasions when they needed an ambulance but chose to lay in pain on the floor, sometimes for hours, knowing that they cannot afford an ambulance and don’t have insurance for it.

The last example I want to share is the confusion around placement of seniors into care homes. Seniors are often ‘placed’ in facilities that either do not meet all of their needs or which are designed to be help seniors with different needs. I think it is critical that we use these spaces better and revisit the idea of what types of facilities should to be built. We must consider locations for these facilities so that if seniors want to remain in a community there is a facility somewhat nearby that would enable this.

Through these examples, I hope people understand why a seniors’ advocate could benefit Manitoba. The seniors’ advocate would be a non-partisan person who would work with whoever is in government. They would be available to answer questions and access resources that will enable and encourage the health and well-being of our seniors.

If this is something you are interested in supporting, or you have a story I should be aware of, please let me know by sending me an email at cindy@gocindy.ca 

Cindy Lamoureux

Cindy Lamoureux
Tyndall Park constituency report

Cindy Lamoureux is the Liberal MLA for Tyndall Park.

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