Eventually we are all going to be old. That is a reality we can’t escape. You would think that fact would ensure that if nothing else receives funding, senior issues would be addressed. Many people are tired of hearing about couples who are separated in their senior years because they can’t get beds in the same senior care facilities. Often seniors stay in their own home much longer than they should because they are on waiting lists to get into a facility that is appropriate to their needs. Caregivers are often over worked and under appreciated. British Columbians are living longer and staying healthier than they ever have before, according to a 2004 profile of seniors in B.C. compiled by the Children’s, Women’s and Seniors’ Health Population Health and Wellness Ministry of Health Services. Not only that, but they are also contributing to society later in their life through volunteering, caregiving and other activities. Perhaps it is the climate that draws people here in their later years, but B.C. has one of the most rapidly aging populations in Canada. Between 1991 and 2001, the average age of British Columbians increased by 3.7 years, from 34.7 to 37.6 years of age. During the same time frame, the number of seniors older than 80 leaped from 87,065 to an impressive 134,175. This was the highest level of increase of all the provinces. With these kinds of statistics, the provincial government must continue to put money into health care and seniors’ issues. If not, when they retire from the public service they may find they are living in the middle of nowhere, hundreds of kilometres from their loved ones.
– Kelowna Capial News