Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bah! Humbug!


The province has announced a "New Plan" for seniors.

With the customary flag waving and self-congratulations, the government that could care less about care says that they are going to expand home care.

But look closely at the plan.

The Irresponsible Minister, Mary Polak, told reporters the province has developed four cornerstones: developing "age-friendly communities," supporting volunteerism, promoting healthy lifestyles and supporting older workers.

I guess that's like The Four Pillars and we know how successful that has been.

That all sounds very nice, but where are the real teeth and the real dollars?

Let me assure you from doing years of volunteer work with seniors that home care IS essential and it IS the most economical support and it IS crucial in helping people maintain their precious independence.

BUT IT COSTS MONEY.

You have to pay nurses and home care workers to come to Ben or Gail's apartment and help them with bathing and groceries and house cleaning and whatever is needed.

Now that takes real budgets for the workers and the support staff who book the workers and organize the clients and their needs.

There is nothing in this fatuous foto-op announcement that speaks to the real delivery of real service.

This is classic Campbell government bullshit and it deserves to be mocked and then widely ignored.

7 comments:

Martin the Ridiculous said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear to you and Martin. If the Campbellinos cannot count to the 5,000 long-term care beds they promised before the 2001 election, what makes us think that Ms. Polak's wimpy announcement will ever develop any substance? In fact, bearing in mind the abuse at the Summerland care home, I'd rather live in a tent!

I am so sick of all Liberal manure.

Liz J.

MurdocK said...

mock it?

sure.

Keep hammering away at the total inadequacies of the plan though...do not ignore it since doing that will be a kind of permission to continue...

Anonymous said...

My mother, who unfortunately resides in extended care (very good care I might add), who's monthly income is barely $1000.00 a month, now has to pay $50 a month BC medical and may be forced to pay $1,800 a month for care!

BC, the best place to be!

Anonymous said...

If the Right Unctuous Gordon Campbell and his minions manage to dupe the people of BC again next election by bribing them with their own money in the form of tax cuts and rebates, and dubious announcements such as this, then perhaps E. May is right: "I think Canadians [British Columbians] are stupid! And I fundamentally agree with that assessment."

RS

David in North Burnaby BC said...

"There is nothing in this fatuous foto-op announcement that speaks to the real delivery of real service."

Yes, the lesson has been learned well with "community based care", "Four Pillars" and the like. Have an impressive sounding title, make the announcements et voila! Problem dealt with, right?

Anonymous said...

David, I have to agree with you comments on home care.

Although I have worked as an LPN in a long term care facility for over ten years, I started out working for a home care agency in 1997.

When I started with this work, I was classified as a "Home Support Worker II" (I was not working as an LPN). I assisted people in their homes with washing, dressing, bathing, cooking, cleaning, errands, companionship and the like). I enjoyed working with people in their homes.

I was paid $13.30 per hour (IN 1997!!!). The rate for these workers has not increased much (if at all). This wage did not include time to travel between clients homes. In others words, I might be booked for two hours in one home, and then have to take a bus for 1/2 hour to get to another job - I was not paid for that 1/2 hour - ONLY the time that I was caring for someone in their home.

I remember getting a call from the scheduler asking if I could drive from my family home in East Vancouver to a client in South Tsawassen for a two hour job. They wanted me in the middle of the weekday rush hour. I politely explained that I could not justify spending over an hour to commute to a two hour job (and then have to drive home) (Incidentally, I was not going to be reimbursed for the use of my car either..). Later, I accepted a job in facility (very hard work, but rewarding personally/professionaly and with fair compensation

You better believe it costs money for good home care. I really admire the people who continue to care for people in their homes. They are doing a great job and they certainly are not being fairly compensated for all that they give.

Oh, and while I am ranting away....it's all well and good that we want to encourage people to stay in their homes - but just look at the hullaballu that occured when that 90+ woman simply wanted a ramp put into her building (where she had been living for 30 years!!).

All the new townhomes that are being built have steps and tiny washrooms - not exactly condusive for people in a wheelchair requiring assistance!!

Hot damn - I think I will just continue. What EXACTLY do they mean by "age friendly communities"??? Would this be more 55+ housing so we can keep our elders completely separated from their families and any community support. How about make the existing housing accessible and encouraging inclusive communities to begin with!!

Supporting volunteerism?? Who the heck doesn't support volunteerism where and when appropriate?? Check out Volunteer Vancouver, Check out the classifieds in the Employment Paper!! Lots of need for good volunteers!!

ARrggghhhh

You want to support seniors - stop delisting needing medications from Pharmacare!

You want to support seniors - every new development must be wheelchair accessible and every new unit must be wheelchair accessible.

You want to support seniors - better fund long term care facilities, provide funding for extra in home care where needed (and pay fair wages to home care workers so that the best and most suitable applicants will take on this work).

You want to support seniors - provide tax relief for seniors who are retired and unable to work so that their pensions and savings are not eaten away by inflation.

Finally, if you want to support seniors - for those elders who eventually have continuing and complex care needs who require placement in a skilled nursing facility - try to have an ounce of compassion and allow the placements to be made based (at least partially) on geography. There is nothing like an elderly couple being torn apart when one needs placement - only to have the placement be 30 kms away and impossible to access by public transit.

Sigh...

Okay, I think I said my piece

Linda Yuill, LPN