Happy 2018! What was your “new year’s resolution? To lose weight, eat or drink less, exercise more? No matter who I canvassed, I didn’t hear resolutions to increase volunteering, bring about change, or increase our social justice commitments.
When I use those words “change”, “social justice” or “volunteering”, the “nearly” seniors (50 – 64) point to the “good” work done by the “older” seniors (75+). We “nearly” seniors need to start practicing now before we can do their good work.
Take for example church bake sales. I personally hate baking. I’m not good at it. I always support bake sales. In the past 10 years, though, those exceptional bakers who were my parents’ peers, are well into their retirement years. It is their children who bake for the bake sales…and guess what? These folks are not any better at baking than I am. With practice, I’m actually quite good at baking now.
The words social justice seems daunting. Yet Dan Benedict, a former OSSCO board member, is remembered for what he achieved with our prestigious Dan Benedict award. Dan Benedict, mentioned in the book, The CAW: Birth and Transformation of a Union, was an ordinary person. Dan was a lifelong supporter of working people and instrumental in establishing the CAW Paid Education Leave (PEL) program, the largest single adult educational program for working men and women in Canada. Dan didn’t achieve all of this in 1 day. He achieved extraordinary things simply by his actions and following his beliefs.
So how can I as an individual bring about change in 2018? I can find a group, an organization or causes I believe and give my time or money. I can give generations that follow us examples to live by through random acts of kindness, keeping an eye on a neighbour or visiting someone in hospital.
It’s important to keep informed on changes to programs and services. Become informed and educated with this month’s issue. Most Ontarians don’t know about the changes that governments make to eligibility, or entitlement to programs or services until there is a need.
The Patients First Act integrated the CCAC’s into the Local Health Integrated Network and created a new crown corporation. According to Wikipedia, LHINs are community-based, non-profit organizations funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to plan, fund and coordinate services delivered by: hospitals, Long-Term Care Homes, Home and Community Care (formerly CCAC), Community Support Service Agencies, Mental Health and Addiction Agencies and Community Health Centres.
We learned how complex this new system is when my husband, who decided to surprise me by making dinner, and, instead scalded himself. It took him nearly 3-hours of calls between the nursing agency, LHIN staff and the pharmacy to organize the delivery of his 1st nursing supplies. LHIN staff suggested he go to a clinic for wound dressing if those supplies did not arrive. They did not know these services are only available at Windsor Regional hospital.
We also learned with the amalgamation of hospital services that the Ouellette campus clinic does not carry the required burn wound dressing supplies. Those are available at the other campus. We have to bring our own supplies when visiting the plastic surgeon.
Why is a plastic surgeon handling burns? There are no burn medical specialists west of London. I guess that communities with heavy industries in Sarnia/ Lambton, manufacturing in Windsor or agricultural industries in Chatham-Kent have no need of such health specialists.
With online research and support groups, I learned that nutritional needs of burn victims are different. I paid a dietitian to educate me. Burns to 40% of the legs and feet also requires physio or occupational therapists which are expensive. When I called the LHINS, they told me my husband was eligible for these services. Eligible? The surgeon was unaware of this eligibility. No one at the time of hospital discharge informed us. Was it a secret?
Ontario Society of Senior Citizens’ Organizations /La Société des Organisations des Citoyens Aînés de l’Ontario (OSSCO/SOCAO)
OSSCO/SOCAO is a provincially registered charity. Our tag line "Seniors transforming Ontario through wisdom, insight and experience" reflects our mission and membership.
Founded in 1986, our goal is to improve the quality of life for Ontario seniors through educational programs, research and public policy awareness. Member organizations and individuals represent senior citizen networks, alliances, groups as well as the non-profit, government and private sector organizations who support the diverse and multicultural seniors community.