B.C. parliamentary secretary for seniors' services and longterm care Mable Elmore has issued the following statement in recognition of Seniors' Week (June 6 to 12):
"B.C. Seniors' Week in 2021 is especially significant given the many challenges seniors, elders, and their families face during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Older adults have been hit incredibly hard by COVID-19 and, as a community, have persevered with remarkable resilience. We grieve with all loved ones of those who have passed away from COVID-19.
To ensure better healthcare for older adults living in longterm care homes and assisted-living facilities, our government is recruiting, training, and hiring up to 3,000 new health-care workers. This represents an investment of $585 million over three years in Budget 2021 for the Health Career Access Program, part of an overall investment of $1 billion over the last three years to improve care for seniors.
Nearly 20 percent of adults in B.C. are 65 years or older, and that number is increasing. We understand it is vital that older adults stay independent longer, so our government is making a series of improvements. This includes a recent investment to expand United Way's Better at Home program, which helps seniors and elders in more than 260 communities with day-to-day tasks. Now, older adults can also dial 211 to access an expanded bc211—a provincewide information and referral service that matches callers with volunteers who will help them with non-medical tasks.
We know there is a lot more work ahead of us, and we will continue to work closely with seniors and Elders to ensure their needs are met, now and into the future. This seniors' week, we encourage people to safely reach out to their parents, grandparents or any other older loved one, and make it a regular practice. Every act of kindness, no matter the size, has an impact—brightening a person's day and helping to lift their spirits.
As we continue to all work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19, remember that getting immunized is the best way to protect yourself and seniors and elders, and to put COVID-19 behind us.
Let's say thank you to those who have lived through so much, by connecting in safe ways during the pandemic and taking care of each other."
To learn more about the Better at Home program, visit the Better at Home website.
Register for your vaccine online or call 1-833-838-2323.
To learn more about bc211, visit the bc211 website.
For translations of this statement in traditional Chinese, French or Punjabi, visit the B.C. government website.