ROUNDUP 2019 10 05 NEWS & VIEWS FROM AROUND THE WEB

News Items

“Pillars of Strength” photo exhibit opens to celebrate National Seniors Day with compelling images of Canadian Seniors

Three Parties, Three Roadmaps to Universal Pharmacare in Canada

On National Seniors Day, Are The Federal Parties Listening to Older Canadians?

Celebrating outstanding volunteers for seniors

Government of Alberta launches online tool for seniors benefits

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“Pillars of Strength” photo exhibit opens to celebrate National Seniors Day with compelling images of Canadian Seniors

Today, a larger-than-life interactive photo exhibit opens to the public in celebration of National Seniors Day. Hosted by Sanofi, the event raises awareness of the burden of flu in seniors, the domino effect it has on their lives, and the importance of protecting them and keeping them active, healthy and independent.

The flu, often seen as just a cold, is estimated to be responsible for an average of 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths annually in Canada, with seniors accounting for up to 70 percent of hospitalizations and up to 91 percent of deaths in 2013-2018

Unfortunately, these numbers do not tell the full story. For those hospitalized, as many as one-third leave with a reduced ability to carry out their daily activities. Prolonged stays in the hospital for a senior can lead to a ‘cascade of dependency’ where immobility leads to poor results that, in some cases, require rehabilitative care or a move to long-term care.

To celebrate seniors and their contributions to our families and communities, Sanofi’s domino-inspired photo exhibit “Pillars of Strength” features compelling images of seniors from across the country, and will open to the public starting October 1 through to October 4 at the Richmond-Adelaide Centre, in downtown Toronto. For every photo of a senior submitted, Sanofi is donating $2 to Wish of a Lifetime Canada, a charity that helps seniors fulfill lifelong dreams. The goal is to raise at least $12,200 (up to a maximum of $24,400), representing the 12,200 hospitalizations due to the flu in Canada each year.

Adults 65 and older generally have lower responses to infections, greater susceptibility to the flu, and are at high risk for complications or hospitalization if they get the flu. Yet, flu vaccines are generally less effective among adults 65 and older compared to younger adults.

“Seniors are cherished members of our communities, contributing to our lives in countless ways,” says Marissa Lennox, Chief Policy Officer at Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP). “The flu can rob older adults of their health and independence, changing their lives irrevocably. In fact, a CARP survey shows that seniors’ biggest fear of aging is loss of independence. It is important for seniors to stay healthy, so they can stay in their homes and communities longer.”

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Three Parties, Three Roadmaps to Universal Pharmacare in Canada

Three of Canada’s major political parties are promising to introduce universal pharmacare, but they differ on how specific their plans are and on how fast they say they will move.

The New Democratic Party and the Green Party have each already included universal pharmacare in their platforms.

The Conservatives, in contrast, have said they would increase health spending, but that many Canadians are already covered by drug insurance plans, so they would focus on filling gaps in coverage rather than providing universal care.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau committed to spend $6 billion over the next four years if re-elected. He characterized it as a “down payment” that along with pharmacare would go towards making sure every Canadian has access to a family doctor and to improve mental health services.

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On National Seniors Day, Are The Federal Parties Listening to Older Canadians?

October 1 is National Seniors Day in Canada, a moment for us to cherish the older people in our lives and recognize the contributions and sacrifices they’ve made — not only in our lives, but for our country as well.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement commemorating the day, noting that, “seniors make Canada stronger every day.” And Green Party leader Elizabeth May — at age 65, a vibrant example of the face of modern seniors — tweeted that she, “honours the lifetime of work and value that seniors have brought to Canada.”

Across the country, not only today but throughout the month, events will take place to honour older Canadians, from workshops that help seniors make connections in their communities to free events like driving seminarsyoga sessionsentertainment and wellness coaching. A big shout-out to the town of Prince George, B.C., which captured the true spirit of the day by offering free transit service to seniors.

Every year on National Seniors Day, CARP raises its flag in communities across Canada to celebrate the achievements made by this age group. This year in Toronto, CARP partnered with Sanofi to present “Pillars of Strength,” a larger-than-life photo exhibit celebrating our seniors, featuring compelling images of seniors and words from Canadians across the country.

Meanwhile, CARP invited Ontario health minister Christine Elliott to attend an electronic flag raising and share an important message on the need for increased adult vaccination rates, particularly as we head into flu season.

“Seniors are cherished members of our communities, contributing to our lives in countless ways,” said Marissa Lennox, Chief Policy Officer at CARP. “The flu can rob older adults of their health and independence, changing their lives irrevocably.”

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Celebrating outstanding volunteers for seniors

The Government of Alberta is recognizing nine individuals and organizations for making a difference in the lives of Alberta seniors and their communities.

For more than 20 years, the Minister’s Seniors Service Awards have recognized volunteers and groups that dedicate their time and talents to make life better for Alberta seniors.

The recipients of the Alice Modin award will also be recognized. Thirty years ago, Modin campaigned to launch a seniors’ day in Strathcona County, paving the way for a provincewide Seniors’ Week. The Alice Modin Award was created in her name, to honour a senior who has contributed long-term service to their community.

Oct. 1 is recognized as Day of Older Persons in Alberta. The province also celebrated this day by raising an International Day of Older Persons flag at the Edmonton Federal Building.

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Government of Alberta launches online tool for seniors benefits

The Alberta government launched a new tool Tuesday that it hopes will make it easier for seniors in the province to access financial assistance.

The financial assistance online tool will allow seniors to scan supporting documents for their claims. Previously, they had to fax, mail, or drop them off in person.

Pon said that the in-person process was inefficient and caused backlog.

The paper option will still be available for seniors who may not have a computer.

“Accepting documents for seniors financial assistance programs online is long overdue,” Pon said.

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