Recently I connected with local seniors at my Spring Tea and Town Hall events in Clinton and Ashcroft, to hear their needs and update them on the provincial services available to assist them. We saw a great turnout at each location, and I thank everyone who took the time to share their views.
I continue to hear that housing remains a concern to seniors in Clinton, Ashcroft, and Cache Creek who want to downsize but remain in the community they’ve called home all their lives, staying close to loved ones and to familiar supports. Thompson View Manor and Lodge have begun the planning process to expand, and Clinton is working to get shovels in the ground for the 10-unit seniors’ independent living project that was approved for funding in 2017.
I continue to monitor the progress of these projects and advocate for further affordable, age-appropriate housing initiatives to help seniors age in place. In addition, last year my colleague MLA Stephanie Cadieux introduced the New Housing Access Act, requiring that a portion of all new developments be accessible as part of the BC Building Code. This would benefit those with physical disabilities as well as seniors.
Seniors also want the health care they need, close to home. Many of our rural communities continue to cope with doctor shortages, and in Ashcroft we’ve seen periodic closures of the local emergency room due to gaps in staffing. Seniors have also expressed concerns about a shortage of care aides. John Horgan and the NDP recently decided to bring 4,000 of these positions into government, a move that could result in job losses and further exacerbate the problem.
My constituency office has created a resource guide that outlines the many services available to seniors. For a copy, please call my office at (250) 453-9726.