B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake.

Letters to the editor: Open letter to the health minister

I would like to speak up for our senior citizens and the mentally ill. The government is failing them.

I would like to speak up for our senior citizens and the mentally ill. The government is failing them.

Our seniors have contributed to our country and to our province all their life. They now need help with everyday living, but there are not enough facilities for them to go to, and the process to get them into a facility is lengthy.

Seniors are living longer and are encouraged to live at home for as long as they can. When they no longer can cope at home, whether they are in an assisted-living situation, living with family or living on their own, when they need “full care assistance” with daily living, they have to “fail” three or four times before they will assess them for a full care facility.

What this means is that a senior must have three or four accidents or crisis situations, in order to be considered for a full-care facility. While they are waiting through this long process, they are struggling to function on their own; they have no place to go and no extra help or support. Some are falling, some are breaking fragile bones, and in the case of the mentally ill, committing suicide.

We need more facilities for our seniors and mentally ill patients. We need to have assessments done more quickly and there needs to be more emphasis put on what the senior (or mentally ill person) is asking for regardless of whether they meet the current protocol for assistance. Seniors are dying while waiting for help, and in the case of the mentally ill, they are not being kept long enough because there are not enough spaces.

Seniors and the mentally ill deserve more help and empathy.

We as citizens should speak up and help them get the help and care they so desperately need.

The government failed my dad. He died from multiple falls and fractures while waiting to get assessed for full care.

Christine Kooznetsoff

Castlegar

Thank you home share providers

Community Connections Support Services would like to thank all the home share providers in our area for the support they provide with adults living in their in homes.

We want to thank you for sharing your home, family, and lifestyle with another so they can experience a safe, secure, family orientated environment.

We want to thank you for opening your homes and lives to someone you had no prior experience with, or knowledge of.

We want to thank you for including them in family activities, celebrations, trips, outings, highs and lows, that allows for enrichment and growth.

We want to thank you for the extra time and expense that can occur when supporting an additional person in your home.

We want to thank you for enduring and persevering through the obstacles and challenges you may have encountered as a Home Share Provider.

We are grateful to you for stepping up and going through the process to become a Home Share Provider. We know that this comes from a place of caring and commitment, and wanting to make a difference in the life of someone living with a disability.

We want to recognize and acknowledge you for your ability to open you heart and home, so someone does not have to be concerned about their basic human needs, and for giving them a sense of belonging.

We are grateful for your commitment to ensure that the person you support has access to education, employment, social groups, volunteer positions and recreational activities that increases their sense of belonging in both your home and their community.

We know that you are instrumental in building and enhancing community values and inclusion, and we are deeply thankful for this contribution.

If you are, were previously, or intend to become a home share provider – thank you for all you do.

Sue Clark

Jodi St. Thomas

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