August 2, 2013
Cost of living
increases chip away at OAS pension
Submitted by Myrtle Macdonald, Chilliwack/Voice
haven't studied this bill (Bill C-428 OAS Pension), nor the reply below that updates facts, because I
feel weary. Some people get very emotional about immigrants, especially
those of another race.
That is sad. They forget
that their grandparents were immigrants too.
Older folk immigrate only
because their family are here, so hopefully their son/daughter has
had a history of paying income tax and contributing to the economy.
They should be with their grandchildren. Besides they baby sit the
children and do the cooking and many other valuable tasks, so that
the younger members of the family all have work.
My concerns are for many elderly people who have no income but OAS
and Guaranteed Income Supplement. A total of $12,144.00 annual
income is not enough to live on. Assisted living is no paradise.
Phyllis (not her real name) has no inheritance left and no CPP, so
that is all she gets, plus a reduced rate at an Assisted Living
facility. The one size fits all arrangement is that the Residence
gets all of her income except $300 per month, but out of that she
buys the following:
Breakfast food about $ 20.00
Vitamin pills & over the counter 60.00
Incontinence supplies about 120.00
Prescription meds 60.00 per month (She has to pay $350 up front
in the first three months.)
Cable 40.95 excessive, don't you think?
BC Hydro 15.00
Insurance on her personal belongings is supposedly required. We
have ignored repeated reminders. There is a special annual rate
of $100. (Excessive really)
Tai chi 20.00
Taxi Saver Tickets 40.00
Outings offered by the Residence. She rarely goes. The bus trip
and lunch come to about $20
Hearing Aid $4000 100.00 per month (The Lion's Club reluctantly
gave $1000. ) Half remains unpaid.
Foot Care 6 times a year ($35) 17.50
Manicure and hair cuts done by her sister. She can't afford the
Clothing: second hand
Toilet articles, even TP, laundry soap. She does her own laundry
often . The residence staff wash only bed sheets.
Shampooing of her carpet. In over eight years the only time it got
shampooed was by her aging sister. High dusting never gets done.
Medium height dusting doesn't either. A thorough cleaning is needed.
Her walker needs replacement. $350.
Her room is hot four months of the year. There should be AC. Dental
care is estimated at $2000. Her teeth are badly neglected. She was
at the dentist two weeks ago. It is a shame how bad they have
Entertainment, restaurants, concerts, trips to visit relatives are
impossible. She loves to donate to Christian causes, but can't any
more. She has nothing for gifts. There are many sales of crafts &
clothing at the Residence. I notice that like her, the other
residents buy little or nothing.
Because she had shingles two years ago, the staff started helping
her have a bath twice a week. They have continued, I suppose,
because of her urinary incontinence. Most people in Assisted Living
have help only once a week with a shower.
The same is true in Home
Care. When her mother was still alive, and they lived together in an
apartment, the Home Care Aid came twice a week because there were
two people, so she helped them each have two baths a week, but that
was not on the "care plan".
The government needs to
know how poorly they provide for the elderly.
I too suffer from poverty. I still have a huge mortgage that gobbles
up most of my income: OAS, GIS, CPP, RIF of $311.42 and mineral
rights royalties (averaging $100/month). I have not had to pay
income tax for three years, which makes it obvious that I too really
am under the poverty line. The cost of living has risen at least 50%
in the last 4 years I have noticed, yet our pension rises about 1%.
Feel free to pass this info on to anyone. The government needs to
know how poorly they provide for the elderly. They ought to supply
dental care and a lot of the above expenses.
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