(January 31, 2018) Saskatoon, SK — Saskatchewan NDP leadership candidate Ryan Meili’s seniors policy calls for the establishment of a dedicated seniors’ advocate, improved access to housing and home care, and renewed public transportation.
“Senior citizens have contributed so much to our province. They’ve earned the right to retire and age with the best support Saskatchewan can provide, but many seniors face poverty and insecurity,” said Meili. “Too many are forced to choose between paying for necessary medications or paying for housing.”
Universal pharmacare and a zero-interest financing program for major purchases like dentures or hearing aids would keep down the cost of living and ensure seniors have access to the medical supports they need to maintain an adequate quality of life.
Establishing a seniors’ advocate office would provide a central access point for information on available supports and services and would help government make better policy through regular reports on the challenges faced by seniors.
“Instead of the current scattershot approach, Saskatchewan seniors deserve a forward-looking, province-wide aging strategy that responds to social isolation, considers growing incidence of dementia, and takes into account the housing needs of older adults,” said Meili. “We can and must make Saskatchewan a place where our elders are valued and able to age with dignity.”
Seniors have been among the hardest hit by the shuttering of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company. Its closure has kept many isolated, unable to visit friends and family or make appointments in larger centres.
“I’ve heard from many people forced to choose between staying at home in smaller communities or moving to the city,” said Meili. “No one should have to choose between maintaining the social connections they’ve spent a lifetime building and accessing the health services they need.”
Pat Trask, a respected advocate for seniors, offered her endorsement today for Meili’s leadership campaign.
“For a government that cares for our seniors and children — a government with a sustainable health care system, in control of its spending — Ryan is my choice,” said Trask.
“The desire to age in comfort is common to all of us,” Meili added. “Just as we must strive to make Saskatchewan the best place to grow up, we owe it to ourselves and our elders to make it the best place to live our golden years.”
Read the full text of the policy here.
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