Q: How can I advocate for seniors on the Coast?
A: An important opportunity to share the experiences of seniors living on the Sunshine Coast is coming soon. In early February, BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie will be hosting a town hall in Sechelt (an event co-hosted by us the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre!) Mackenzie wants to hear from seniors, seniors’ loved ones, and others who live on the Sunshine Coast. It’s a chance to share your own experiences about what’s working and what’s working less well for seniors here on the Coast.
In addition to sharing your own thoughts, it’s an opportunity to learn more about the role of the Office of the Seniors Advocate, to listen to Mackenzie outline concerns she is hearing from seniors throughout B.C., and to hear her share highlights of recent studies published by her office.
The Office of the Seniors Advocate is responsible for monitoring and analyzing seniors’ services and issues in B.C., and making recommendations to government and service providers to address systemic issues. Mackenzie’s office monitors five key areas: health care, housing, income supports, community supports and transportation.
The office’s most recent report, published last fall concludes that,“More needs to be done to support low and modest-income seniors to live with dignity and security as they age in their own homes.” The report highlights the immense income insecurity B.C. seniors are facing. It shows that 45 per cent of seniors in B.C. have an income that is less than minimum wage, compared to 6 per cent of the overall labour force. The report also states that while minimum wage increased 40 per cent between 2015 and 2020, seniors’ pension incomes increased by only 14 per cent during the same period. The full 40+ page report is available at www.seniorsadvocatebc.ca .
To have your say at this town hall: mark your calendars for Monday, Feb. 6, from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Seaside Centre in Sechelt (5790 Teredo Street). The event is open to the general public and no registration is required. We’d love to see you there! For more information contact Mary Caros, Seniors Planning Manager at the Resource Centre: firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-802-7781. To connect with the office of the Seniors Advocate: email email@example.com or call 1-877-952-3181.
And don’t forget, if you are a senior – or anyone – who would like help navigating any subsidies or supports out there that may apply to you, please feel welcome to connect with us at the Resource Centre at the contact information below.
Angie Theilmann is an information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, your community information hub. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are recommended to be sure we are available to help you. Note: on some days, we can book clients after 2 p.m. Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-885-4088.