SENIORCENTRIC WEEK ENDING AUG 28, 2021

Scanning the globe for news by, for and about Senior Citizens

Quotables:

The number of people aged 30–79 years with hypertension doubled from 1990 to 2019, from 331 (95% credible interval 306–359) million women and 317 (292–344) million men in 1990 to 626 (584–668) million women and 652 (604–698) million men in 2019, despite stable global age-standardised prevalence. In 2019, age-standardised hypertension prevalence was lowest in Canada and Peru for both men and women;

THE LANCET
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Covid vaccine protection wanes within 6 months new study suggests

Charlie Watts: The Who and Chili Peppers drummers pay tribute

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Here’s what the main federal parties are promising seniors

A look at the main parties’ platforms for those 65 and older

When Albert Smith, 68, goes to the grocery store for vegetables, it’s straight to the frozen food aisle.

“We cannot have fresh produce, it’s too expensive,” he said.

The Saskatchewan man said his rent and bills are paid every month with help from the Old Age Security, but there’s little left afterwards.

“You stay at home and you just do nothing because you don’t have the money to do anything. So it’s not a decent life.”

Across the country in Shelbourne, N.S., Jacqueline Goldsmith is watching reports of tropical storm Henri, which could wallop the province next week.

With little money left  at the end of the month, she’s worried what will happen if another storm batters her home  — she already dipped into her RRIF in 2019 when Hurricane Dorian hit her home.

“I pay everything and there’s nothing left over,” she said. “I’m doing my best, but it’s difficult. It’s becoming more and more difficult.

At 73, she says she feels abandoned by the Liberals’ proposed boost to Old Age Security that is  only for those 75 and older.

“In 2021, my property tax went up, my house insurance went up, my TV, my electricity, my food, all of that went up. And because I’m 73 and not 75, I’m not getting any help,” she said.

“I found that a real slap in the face.”

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Vaccines, experience making the difference at Alberta seniors homes under COVID-19 outbreaks

‘It’s not the full blown crisis that we had previously’

Vaccines have been the difference between life and death at a seniors lodge in Evansburg, Alta. now dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19.

Sunshine Place Seniors Lodge, located about 100 kilometres west of Edmonton, is one of six supportive living facilities in Alberta’s North and Edmonton health zones currently dealing with outbreaks of the respiratory disease.

“Will you still get COVID? Perhaps,” chief administrative officer Kristen Chambers said. “However, we are not experiencing those severe outcomes.

“We’re not experiencing the staffing issues. It’s not the full-blown crisis that we had previously.”

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Provincial Health Coalitions Put Federal Parties on Notice: Canadians Demand Real Action to Fix Long-Term Care

With a federal election called for September 20, provincial Health Coalitions across Canada are putting all federal political parties on notice. The federal government could have already set real national standards for long-term care in legislation or an emergency federal-provincial-territorial funding accord with sufficient funding attached to leverage real change. Instead, nothing has happened. Canadians expect all political parties to commit to bring in national standards for long-term care as a matter of national priority.

Long-term care standards must at minimum be publicly governed and accountable to the public, not a technical committee appointed behind the scenes, warn the Coalitions. They should require improved care, annual surprise inspections and enforcement of standards, and public reporting. Funding should be attached to those requirements.

More than 14,000 long-term care and retirement home residents and staff died in the first two waves of the pandemic and more than 80,000 residents and staff have been infected in the pandemic to date, many never to regain their former health status. Canada’s record is staggering, much worse than our international peer nations. It underscores that the horrific toll of death and suffering in Canada’s long-term care was preventable. Fully 69% of our country’s pandemic deaths occurring among residents compared to the international average of 41%.

“The devastation in our nation’s long-term care homes requires a commitment to “never again””, said Chris Parsons, coordinator of the Nova Scotia Health Coalition. “But to date, substantially nothing has happened. Health and seniors’ advocates across Canada will not accept a private process for technical and industry standards as a replacement for the urgent political leadership that was promised.”

In the fall 2020 Throne Speech, Prime Minister Trudeau committed to doing everything possible, including laying criminal charges for those who neglect elderly vulnerable Canadians and working with provinces and territories to set national standards. In December the Prime Minister recommitted to setting the standards and intimated that provinces refusing to adopt the “highest standards” would not receive federal funding for long-term care.

“Prime Minister Trudeau has repeatedly made empty promises about national standards for long-term care,” added Sandra Azocar, executive director of the Friends of Medicare in Alberta. “But in the budget the federal government allotted only $3 billion over 5 years, amounting to $600 million per year, split between the provinces and territories. As a comparison, the Parliamentary Budget Officer estimated that necessary reform and standards in long-term care would cost an additional $13.7 billion per year. We are demanding a real commitment backed by dollars from all federal parties as a matter of national priority.”

“There are no strings attached to public dollars to ensure they go to increasing care and not profit-taking. The promised criminal charges have evaporated and the promise for national standards has been taken over and sidelined by the accreditation and standards-creating industry with the full support of Trudeau’s government,” said Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition. “This is nowhere near what it should be. The core morals of our society have been breached, thousands have suffered and died. We are demanding real action, not a public relations side show and delay tactics.”

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