Yet again, in the news is the ever increasing shortage of long-term beds for the elderly in our province.
In last week’s column by Paul Willcocks, it was revealed that in fact the BC Liberals had conceded that they would fall far short on their promise to open 5,000 beds for intermediate and long-term care by 2006.
It amazes me each year that goes by to see that the provincial government of the day cannot take hold of this vital need in our province and serve the elderly in our communities.
Three years ago, my family along with several others, faced the threat to have our loved ones moved from Kitimat General Hospital to Smithers.
These long-time Kitimat residents were awaiting placement in Kitimat’s multi-level care unit, which at the time had residents from other communities occupying beds. We fought to have our loved ones remain in Kitimat, and won. But, with the increasing number of northern residents requiring intermediate and long-term care, will this situation soon face other Kitimat families?
I have written time and time again on this issue, trying to convey the fact that the elderly of British Columbia are being horribly neglected by the BC Liberal government.
In the last provincial election I held out hope that after many years of stalemate by the NDP on this issue, the Liberals would come in and rescue seniors and their families, but yet again, this is not the case.
The BC Liberals have proven that they do not care about the issues surrounding seniors in this province. What are they waiting for?
Families cannot continue to bear the brunt of providing for their loved ones without the support of the government. Home-care for the elderly has not been correspondingly funded to compensate for the lack of beds in our communities.
This problem is not one which the passage of time will fix.
The fact is that the number of British Columbian’s requiring these services every year is increasing at an alarming rate.
Families and caregivers do not have the support they need, putting both their loved ones, as well as themselves at risk.
I commend all caregivers for all that they do, for all the work and care that you give cannot be explained or comprehended to someone who has not walked in your shoes.
Truly, it is up to the people of British Columbia to speak out and voice your anger with how the BC Liberals have chosen to offload care for the elderly onto the backs of caregivers, as they have done with such material assets such as highways and buildings, it truly inhumane.
The situation facing the elderly is a bleak one, and it is up to British Columbian’s to stand up and voice our concerns for those who cannot.