Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Seniors Scene

Home Alone

Better network of community support needed for elderly facing challenges of daily living

Submitted by Myrtle Macdonald, Chilliwack


any middle class, formerly professional, elderly people are living in poverty in Assisted Living (or in Home Care one hour a week or twice a month.


In either case, assistance with a bath is seldom more than once a week. The 30% of their income they are allowed to keep for themselves gets clawed back to pay for TV, phone, hair dresser, foot care, hydro, fire insurance, personal security call button, Tai Chi, bus trips and a meal for a visitor.


If they are incontinent they pay for their pads and panties which easily cost more the $100 per month.

No one does high dusting, or even medium reach dusting, in their tiny apartment. No one shampoos their carpets or puts in easy care laminate flooring. No one repairs or replaces their run down old walker. There is no money left over to buy shoes, clothes, toilet articles or breakfast food.

If they never were on Welfare they have no source of funds for eye glasses, walker, dental work or hearing aids. The bank of used hearing aids available from Lions is of outdated equipment that their fingers are not nimble enough to adjust.

Handidart is not available unless ordered a day or two ahead. Wait times are unpredictable, going and coming. A one hour event takes half a day or more.

Their son or daughter may live far away and have become elderly also. If their local relative no longer has a car, they depend on Handidart or TaxiSaver tickets to visit them. Only $80 worth are available per month, so get used up in the first two weeks.

It is embarrassing to ask old friends to take them to their church, to special events or appointments to their doctor, dentist or hearing aid consultants. Church friends help a lot, but they are elderly too and overworked as volunteers, and many are poor themselves in their old age.

A varied program of activities, bingo, craft classes, exercise classes, gift sales and demonstrations, church services and even brunch and happy hour, sound great on their monthly calendar, but the truth is that attendance at all their events is minimal. Why? Largely purposelessness and boredom I think. The pool table and shuffle board are seldom used.

For entertainment some sit in the entrance hall to see people coming and going through the front door. At least they are greeted by someone else's visitor, who notices and recognizes them.

About Myrtle Macdonald

Myrtle Macdonald has an MSc Applied in Nursing and Research from McGill University, Montreal. Her Minor is in the Social Sciences (Anthropology and Psycho-Sociology).

She has worked in many hospital, nursing education and community health roles in six provinces of Canada and four countries overseas.

She is 91 years of age and is still active in:

Mental Health Advisory Committee,
BC Schizophrenia Society,
Rail for the Valley
Ecologic-BC (environmental issues)
singing in the choir at St. Thomas Anglican Church.

Currently, Myrtle is nearing completion of her book called People Migrations in Europe and America; 2000 Years of Nation-Building.

"It is almost ready for publishing. It is background work for family genealogy search, and it accurately brings together a lot of significant history ignored in high school and university textbooks," wrote Macdonald


On A Satirical Note

The Patriotic Retirement Plan

Submitted by Myrtle Macdonald, Chilliwack


We should start a new political party with this mandate ...

Dear Mr. Prime minister,


Please find below our suggestion for fixing Our economy.

Instead of giving billions of dollars to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force.
Pay them 1 million dollars each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire.
Ten million job openings - Unemployment fixed

2) They MUST buy a new car.
Ten million cars ordered - Car Industry fixed

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis fixed

4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university - Crime rate fixed

5) They MUST buy $50 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week


And there's your money back in duty/tax etc. It can't get any easier than that! If more money is needed, have all Government members of Parliament and Senators pay back their falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances. If you think this would work, please forward to everyone you know.

How about putting the very elderly pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing home? That way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks. They'd receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc and they'd receive money instead of paying it out.

They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance. Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.

A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell. They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose. They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counselling, pool and education.

Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ's and legal aid would be free, on request. Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens. Each senior could have a PC, a TV, radio and daily phone calls.

There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.

The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised. Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room and pay $300.00 per week and with little hope of ever getting out.

More points of contention: [Think about this...]

On Cows
Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Alberta years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the barn?

And, they even tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 125,000 illegal immigrants wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

It is time grumpy old folks of Canada spoke up!


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