Just say no to long-term care closures seniors

News release

BC Health Coalition Seniors' Network BC

Seniors' and medicare advocates are advising long-term care residents and their families to take the provincial government at its word and reject individual care plans that involve moves to an inappropriate or temporary care setting.

The Seniors' Network BC and the B.C. Health Coalition are also calling for a moratorium on the closure of long-term care facilities pending a full public consultation on the government's strategy for seniors' care.

"This government has failed to convince seniors and their families that their plans for seniors' care will be anything but disastrous," says Seniors' Network BC's Joyce Jones. "But the long-term care minister did promise that no resident will be moved without their family's consent.

"In the face of looming facility closures and ill-defined plans for alternative care, residents and their clients may have no choice but to block these moves," adds Jones.

"After all, fragile and elderly residents can't be moved around the system like luggage while the government tries to convince us that it has a workable plan."

The Network's Ben Swankey says the plan to cut costs by replacing long-term care beds with assisted living arrangements is more bad news for seniors who've already been hit with increased costs for MSP and Pharmacare coverage.

"Seniors fought hard for public health care and supported it all their working lives," says Swankey. "But this government is determined to make us pay more to receive less health care."

In addition to a full public review of the government's residential care strategy, the Network and the Coalition are urging the premier to form a province-wide seniors' committee to monitor and advise on seniors' care policy.

"I don't know who this government consulted when it dreamed up this seniors' care scheme," says Swankey. "But it sure wasn't seniors. This government could benefit from our perspective."

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Contact: Phil Lyons, Seniors' Network BC, 604-430-6373