In this issue:
Seniors issues and pensions
If all goes according to plan, by July 2018 several provinces and territories will have a new securities regulator. Currently, each province and territory operates its own regulator that is responsible for administrating each province’s unique laws. The provincial and territorial regulators are part of an umbrella organization, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA).
As recently as 40 years ago, old age meant living in poverty for more than a third of Canadian seniors. Thankfully, public programs like the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement changed this, cutting BC’s seniors’ poverty rate to a low of 2.2% in the mid-1990s, among the lowest in the western world.
BC seniors are anything but a homogenous group. Large income and wealth inequalities exist among both seniors and working-age British Columbians—the defining problem we face isn’t about intergenerational inequality, but rather the growing gap between rich and poor across generations. This study uses Statistics Canada data to study the economic well-being of BC seniors, and takes a close look at indicators of economic insecurity including core housing need, the costs and accessibility of essential care and prescription medications, and food insecurity. —
Our photo essay, Economic insecurity touches seniors’ lives in profound ways (published alongside the study, Poverty and Inequality Among British Columbia’s Seniors) describes the lived experiences of three senior women living in economic insecurity in BC.
BC seniors are anything but a homogenous group. Large income and wealth inequalities exist among both seniors and working-age British Columbians—the defining problem we face isn’t about intergenerational inequality, but rather the growing gap between rich and poor across generations. Learn more: policyalternatives.ca/SeniorsInequality
(Vancouver) Poverty and economic insecurity among BC seniors is growing, according to a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. After rapid declines over the 1970s, 80s and 90s, seniors’ poverty rose from a low of 2.2% in 1996 to 12.7% in 2014 (the most recent year data is available)—and many more seniors have incomes just above the poverty line.
It is becoming far too common. Many of us have a parent, relative or neighbour who has struggled to get the home support they need. Perhaps they have even waited in hospital because residential care or rehabilitation services were not available.
Home and community care services in BC—home health care, assisted living and residential care—require urgent attention. For the past 16 years, underfunding, privatization and fragmentation of the system have left many seniors, their families and communities patching together care and even going without. This report shows that increasing access to home and community care doesn’t just benefit seniors, it is widely acknowledged as key for reducing hospital overcrowding and surgical wait times.
Despite the BC government’s recent $500 million injection of funding into the home and community care system, much remains to be done to provide adequate care for seniors and improve health care wait times for all British Columbians, says a new report released today.