With the Alberta election drawing near, one of the issues that keeps cropping up is seniors’ care. While all the parties are talking about the issue, there are citizens who say no matter what is said, in the end, there is never enough action taken on the subject.
“Things have been said and done, but too much has been said and not enough done, that’s the best way to put it. Politicians are dragging their feet,” said Rob Sellers, director with the Lloydminster Concerned Citizens for Senior Care Society. “There’s a lot of talk and no action. That’s really what it boils down to.”
Sellers says he’s been attending government meetings on care for seniors for 10 years and very little has changed. In fact, he says there is no time in his memory when the subject has been adequately addressed.
“They’ve been talking about adding more (care) beds for 10 years,” said Sellers. “This government promised to add more beds before the last election and never followed through. Like I say, a lot has been said with little done.
“As a matter of fact, they probably closed more beds.”
The only viable solution in Sellers’ eyes is to find a politician who’s willing to do something. He said it’s frustrating to deal with political institutions and their bureaucracy that can moves slowly. Heather Graham, a co-director and past president of LCCSCS, said one of the biggest problems with the issue are a lack of qualified staff and the lack of available spaces.
She agrees that there is more talk than action and said the government has some misguided priorities when it comes to seniors’ care.
“There is probably enough money, it’s just how they’re spending it and where they’re putting it,” said Graham. “So that’s a frustration and when I read stories where they put $9.3 million toward fixing up the Kananaskis golf course that got damaged in the flood, yet don’t have any money for seniors’ care, like where are the priorities here?”
Like Sellers, Graham also says she can’t remember a time when the issue of seniors’ care was properly taken care of in Alberta. She said they have studied the issue “to death,” and the general consensus is that the province is roughly 20,000 care beds short.
She also agrees that the only fix is to find someone with the political will to make change happen and find a government that carries out its promises.
“They’re promising the world here but after 44 years maybe somebody else should be allowed to put their money where their mouth is,” she said of the PC Party. “The current government has had 44 years to give us top notch care everywhere but it hasn’t. So maybe we need some different thoughts.”