Friday, August 23, 2019
Tyndall Park, WINNIPEG – MLA candidate for Tyndall Park, Cindy Lamoureux, and Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont announced Friday that a Manitoba Liberal Government will complete the promise that Brian Pallister couldn’t — building 1200 affordable seniors’ units and improving home care programs.
Lamoureux was Seniors’ Critic for the Manitoba Liberal Party and worked with the Long-Term Care Association of Manitoba before being elected.
“When you look at the Pallister government’s cuts to health care and personal care homes, it’s clear that seniors are not a priority for his government,” said Lamont. “Manitoba Liberals are committed to ensuring that seniors across Manitoba can live independently with dignity.”
In the 2016 election, Brian Pallister promised to “fast track” 1200 personal care home beds, but immediately backtracked. Today, Manitoba only has 10 more PCH beds than in 2014.
Manitoba Liberals will:
- Build 1200 additional community-based seniors housing units across Manitoba by 2024 at a cost of $160-million. This will be matched by the federal government’s National Housing Strategy that the province refused to sign for almost a year.
- Increase funding to Home Care by 10% in the first year, or $38-million, in order to improve Home Care services for all Manitobans — ensuring greater flexibility within the home care program to adapt to the specific needs of individuals.
- Invest an additional $5 million annually to enhance and restore seniors programming while eliminating fees. Studies show that such programs can reduce incidence of disability by 20%.
Manitoba Liberals will also create an Independent Seniors’ Advocate who will report and make recommendations on services to seniors — including transportation, health care, home care, and housing.
Manitoba Liberals have already announced a number of measures that will benefit seniors:
- A minimum guaranteed income based on the tax system to ensure no seniors are living in poverty
- Ending the practice of “rationing” hip and knee replacements to reduce waiting lists
- Restoring the “Life Saving Drugs Program” so that no Manitoban has to pay for medications they need to stay alive, including treatments for cancer, diabetes, and life-saving devices like CPAP machines
- Empowering personal care homes
“The PCs have put our health care system and workers through tremendous stress and difficulty. We want to thank them all for continuing to provide the best service they can under these conditions,” said Lamoureux. “Manitoba Liberals are committed to the highest standards of care because we want the best for our seniors.”
During the last election, Brian Pallister promised Manitobans he would “fast track” 1200 additional personal care home beds for the province. Yet data shows that Manitoba only has 10 more PCH beds than we had in 2014.
Manitoba needs more personal care home beds—but a personal care home is not the only facility for seniors. We also need Supportive Housing Homes, Retirement (55+ homes), Independent living homes and hospices because right now many seniors are living stretches of their lives in hospital beds. This is not only damaging to our health care system, but it also is detrimental to the health of the senior.
Increased seniors housing will be supported by investing $160 million over 4 years, to be matched by the federal governments National Housing Strategy, that the province refused to sign for almost a year.
Home care is incredibly important to keeping seniors in their homes longer and ensuring quality of life. Manitoba spent $380 million on home care in 2017/18. This amount has been frozen at this rate with only $382 million budgeted for 2019/20. To rebuild our home care system and increase the quality of home care, investments should be made.
People who receive home care deserve upmost of care and respect . A Liberal Government is committed to working with various home care associations to spread more throughout our province so seniors can remain in the homes and in order to stay healthy longer.
The home care budget will be increased by 10% or 38 million in the first year in government, with annual increases covering the rate of inflation in consecutive years.
Manitoba can reduce disability and encourage independence for Seniors by restoring recreation programs, ensuring that public transportation is affordable, and make sure that seniors can access social and recreational opportunities.
These investments improve the quality of life for seniors while lowering long-term costs.
Research suggests that if we could increase older adults’ activity level by one social activity, we could reduce the proportion of people with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) disabilities from 38% to 21.7%.
Put another way, for every 7 older adults who increase their social activity level, one person would remain disability-free within about a 5-year time frame.
Manitoba Liberals will invest an additional $5 million annually to enhance and restore seniors programming while eliminating fees.