SENIORCENTRIC WEEK ENDING Oct 2, 2021

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

Quotables:

A Decade of Healthy Ageing in Canada Must Start with a National Seniors Strategy

National Institute on Ageing (NIA)
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Statement by the Prime Minister on National Seniors Day

“Canada’s seniors have helped shape this country, and raised, mentored, and invested in generations of Canadians. As parents, grandparents, friends, neighbours, workers, and volunteers, they continue to contribute to our families, communities, and society in countless ways.

“It has been a difficult pandemic for seniors in Canada, with many facing isolation, loneliness, and stress. We need to continue to be there for them, as they have been for us and our country.

“The Government of Canada has taken important steps to improve seniors’ quality of life and help them retire in dignity. We have increased the Guaranteed Income Supplement for hundreds of thousands of low-income single seniors and enhanced its earnings exemption. Through these and other measures, we have helped lift 45,000 seniors out of poverty across the country between 2015 and 2019. Budget 2021 increased support for seniors, to help them with higher costs later in life. Seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and who will be 75 or over as of June 30, 2022 received immediate support in August with a one‑time payment of $500. In July 2022, the OAS pension will increase by 10 per cent for seniors 75 and over.

“The government is also taking steps to ensure that seniors can stay at home as long as possible. We recently created the Age Well at Home initiative to assist community‑based organizations in providing support to low-income and vulnerable seniors, such as matching seniors with volunteers who can help with meal preparations, home maintenance, daily errands, and transportation. To improve the safety and availability of care in long-term care homes, the government is also investing $3 billion over five years, starting in 2022-23, to support provinces and territories in ensuring better standards are applied in long-term care so that seniors can live in safe and dignified conditions.

“We know that the pandemic has tragically highlighted the serious and long-standing challenges in long-term care homes in our country. Together, we will ensure better, safer care for seniors.

“On National Seniors Day, I invite all Canadians to reach out to the seniors in their lives. We thank them for everything they have done for us and our country, and for laying the foundations of a better future for us all.”

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National advisory committee recommends booster for seniors in long-term care

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization says seniors in long-term care homes need a COVID-19 vaccine booster immediately to protect them from the virus.

The new guidance was released Tuesday after reviewing evidence about waning immunity from the vaccine, the latest safety data and the spread of COVID-19 across the country.

The committee recommends long-term care residents and people living in seniors’ homes receive another shot of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, as long as it has been six months since their last shot.

NACI says there are signs that vaccine protection might not last as long for seniors in congregate setting like long-term care as it does for other populations in Canada.

Canadian studies have suggested that even though people in long-term care had a good antibody response to two doses of vaccine, the majority of residents did not have a detectable level of antibodies against the Delta variant six months later.

Several provinces have already approved booster COVID-19 shots for people in long-term care, including Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and most recently, Quebec.

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TD Bank fined $400K for withholding $31 million from seniors

The Toronto-Dominion Bank withheld promised fee discounts from half a million seniors in Canada, according to a federal investigation.

Would you pay a $400,000 fine if it meant you could make $31 million? The TD Bank sure would.

Blacklock’s Reporter says The Toronto-Dominion Bank withheld promised fee discounts from half a million seniors in Canada, according to a federal investigation.

The bank on Wednesday was fined $400,000 for breach of the Bank Act but saved $31 million by withholding seniors’ rebates.

“Over the six years the breach was ongoing this is estimated to be approximately 500,000 customers and excess charges of approximately $31 million,” wrote Commissioner Judith Robertson of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

“Toronto-Dominion does not dispute these totals.”

The Agency said from 2012 the Bank introduced a fee schedule promising in fine print a “seniors’ rebate” for depositors over 60, the equivalent of 25% off monthly fees.

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Montrealers raise awareness about elders on National Seniors Day

Dozens of Montrealers marched on city streets Friday morning to raise awareness for National Seniors Day, celebrated on Oct. 1. They made as much noise as they could, with a band in tow, to remind everyone that elders refuse to be forgotten.

“We shouldn’t be ashamed of living because we’re getting older,” said participant Sylvie Charbonneau, who turns 63 next week.

The march that started at Jarry Park was the first event for Habitats, a public forum to reflect and act on the challenges and realities of aging.

“It’s really frightening, we don’t want to see it and it’s not something that we value in our society, really,” said march organizer François Grisé.

According to Statistics Canada, 20.3 per cent of Quebecers are 65 years and older and 37.7 Quebecers per 100,000 people are over 100 years old. Despite this, organizers say the topic is still considered taboo.

“We’re hoping that people will gather together first to have a look at the actions and solutions and the actions that are already there for seniors, seniors’ well-being,” said Grisé.

The theme of the march was, ‘How do we want to live in our old age?’

“What I want is that people to be aware that no matter the age you are, you can communicate with all groups of age. Everybody has something to share,” said participant Krystiane Hamel, who is 68 years old.

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