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New Report – Billions More Reasons to Care

OSA’s latest report Billions More Reasons to Care finds rising costs, rising profits and spending disparities in B.C.’s contracted long-term care sector. This second review into government’s funding of publicly subsidized for-profit and not-for-profit operated long-term care homes has again found spending differences impacting care for residents, many cost increases exceeding inflation, a lack of clarity on many reported expenses and inequitable funding for capital assets.

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Fall Council of Advisors Meeting

The OSA Council of Advisors met in Victoria at the end of September to engage on seniors’ issues across B.C. We welcomed five new members to the council: Lynn Wood, Sandra Gerbhardt, Diana Leung, Caroline Alexander and Pauline Gobeil who represent various regions across the province.

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Fall Vaccination Program

Starting this month, people six months and older can get an updated influenza and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. Invitations will be sent by email and text message to everyone who has received a COVID-19 vaccine in B.C. The invitation will include a direct link to book an appointment to receive the vaccines. People most at risk of severe illness, such as residents of long-term care facilities, seniors 65+, Indigenous peoples and those with chronic health conditions, as well as healthcare workers, will be the first to receive vaccinations.

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Medical Masks in Long-Term Care Homes

Due to the increase in respiratory virus infections in B.C., visitors to long-term care facilities are required to wear a medical mask when they are in common areas and participating in indoor events, gatherings, activities in communal spaces of the care home or residence.

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International Day of Older Persons

October 1 marked the International Day of Older Persons as well as National Seniors Day in Canada. On this day, stakeholders around the world come together to highlight the important contributions that older people make to society and raise awareness of the challenges of ageing in today’s world.

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Seniors Personal Planning Workshops

The Seniors’ Health & Wellness Institute is hosting a series of free webinars on advance care planning to help seniors prepare for future personal, medical and legal needs. Topics include representation agreements, advance directives and wills. Webinars take place weekly during the months of October and November.

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Provincial News

Recent Announcements from the B.C. Government Impacting Seniors

September 11, 2023 Province caps annual rent increase well below inflation
September 11, 2023 Nearly 60 affordable homes for seniors open in Vancouver
September 12, 2023 Second hospital, new cancer centre breaks ground in Surrey
September 12, 2023 More accessible Meals on Wheels coming to Langley
September 13, 2023 New homes open for families, seniors in Burnaby
September 18, 2023 New long-term care home coming to Cranbrook
September 18, 2023 B.C. moves to increase housing supply, deliver more homes faster
September 22, 2023 New funding supports local governments with housing initiatives
September 26, 2023 Targets released for 10 municipalities to deliver more homes for people
September 26, 2023 New affordable homes open in Powell River
September 26, 2023 Seventy new affordable homes coming for families, seniors in Saanich
September 27, 2023 Physician assistants are one step closer to joining B.C.’s health-care workforce
September 27, 2023 Expanded travel programs benefit patients needing cancer care
September 28, 2023 Community organizations will have better infrastructure to offer people healthy food
September 29, 2023 More affordable housing for families, seniors open in Victoria

National News

Recent Announcements from the Federal Government Impacting Seniors

September 21, 2023 Government introduces legislation to build more rental homes and stabilize grocery prices

Recent Research

Targeting the hallmarks of aging to improve influenza vaccine responses in older adults

(Immunity and Ageing)

Age-related declines in immune response pose a challenge in combating diseases later in life. Influenzas (fu) infection remains a significant burden on older populations and often results in catastrophic disability in those who survive infection. Despite having vaccines designed specifically for older adults, the burden of fu remains high and overall flu vaccine efficacy remains inadequate in this population. Recent geroscience research has highlighted the utility in targeting biological aging to improve multiple age-related declines.

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Future temperature-related excess mortality under climate change and population aging scenarios in Canada

(Canadian Journal of Public Health)

Climate change is expected to increase global temperatures. How temperature-related mortality risk will change is not completely understood, and how future demographic changes will affect temperature-related mortality needs to be clarified. We evaluate temperature-related mortality across Canada until 2099, accounting for age groups and scenarios of population growth.

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Insights on Canadian Society: Dwelling satisfaction among older adults: Dwelling characteristics and their influence on satisfaction

(Statistics Canada)

Housing choices and requirements often shift as individuals approach and enter retirement, based on personal preferences, proximity to services, functional impairments, and financial considerations. These housing needs, coupled with the overall desire of older Canadians to ‘age-in-place’, are increasingly at the forefront of housing discussions at the national, provincial and municipal government levels. Using the 2021 Canadian Housing Survey, this study examines dwelling satisfaction as a key indicator of housing needs for older adults aged 55 years and older.

Outreach by the OSA

BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie continues to meet with seniors across the province, attend events and deliver presentations both in person and virtually. If you would like to invite her to present at your event, please contact our office at .

Please note that Isobel Mackenzie has announced that she will retire after March 31, 2024, therefore our office is not accepting invitations for events after this date at this time.

The Office of the Seniors Advocate has an information and referral line that is available 24 hours a day, every day. Our senior service specialists will work with you during our office hours to provide resources and help resolve issues. Staff at BC211 will assist after hours

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