Senior Advocate Has Important Role To Play

By May 31, 2013Letters, Pop Voice

Dear Editor. Seniors locally 55+ years of age represent over 9,800 residents and over 65 years 4,900 residents. But throughout BC, similar numbers of seniors are forming a major segment of society but equally important, seniors vote. ECAC’s rallying call, “Unity in Challenging Times” heralds a popular direction for all seniors to respond, become aware, get organized and form a major voting segment dedicated to achieving Seniors’ rights and deserved respect, at future Municipal, Provincial & Federal elections.

Seniors age 65 and over make up 13.3% of the population in BC. It is estimated by 2031 seniors will make up 24% of the population in BC. At least 1 in 12 Seniors’ suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. So, adequate representation of Seniors’ is long overdue, from not only a Health perspective but socially and creating Age-Friendly Communities.

So, when we read Tom Fletcher “Mission Record, Polarized politics a costly system May 23, 2013”, ramblings spouting a potpourri of biases and bafflegab, we must strongly object to his inclusion and characterization of seniors, naively stating “A Seniors’ Advocate can offer advice at management level to help health care system evolve but only politicians can tell individuals they can’t have what they are demanding”. Such folly, and misinformed rhetoric indeed.

He wrongly goes on to say “it is good the Senior Advocate won’t be staffed to (duplicate) Ombudsperson, taking complaints”. Further, such arrogance to say “Ombudsperson has become ineffective, labouring over massive report, so many recommendations it sank like stone”. My word, such ignorance is really overwhelming, at best, but does serve to illustrate the lack of media knowledge, empathy and oversight to seniors’ issues and needs. Indeed, being able to amass some 160+ needed recommendations clearly illustrates a sad commentary on the massive neglect, like child poverty no doubt, that has been incurred in BC, at the hands of inept Government and equally condoned by uninformed media like Mr. Fletcher.

Indeed, Government has failed to recognize the massive and growing voting block of seniors in Canada, with BC demonstrating the highest level of growth among all provinces. BC Government offered a (token) Seniors’ Advocate within the Health Ministry, very short-sighted and superficially responding to significant demands for an Independent Officer of the Legislature, similar to Ombudsperson and Representative for Children & Youth.

Sadly, Mr. Fletchers ramblings serve no purpose in evaluating seniors’ issues nor needs and unfortunately cause aspersions of media who seek to perpetuate such unresponsive and mimic ignorant Government actions, favouring to spout such inflamed and derogatory rhetoric, instead of encouraging Government to makes seniors lives more enriched, which the appointment of an effective Seniors’ Advocate will contribute toward.

Yours truly,

George F. Evens

Elder Citizens Action Coalition (ECAC)

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