There are approximately 37 days left before the provincial election on June 7. The reason we remind our readers that it is a “provincial” election is regardless of age, people get confused as to what level of government is responsible for what services.
The current provincial government funded our Engaging Seniors in Civic Dialogue workshop to help clarify the jurisdictions and responsibilities for all 3 levels of government. It also allowed OSSCO attendees to learn how to speak to stakeholders and raise their concerns and issues in a way that would be heard. Our program teaches attendees how to build bridges in community so a cohesive seniors’ voice is heard.
If you are deciding who to vote for, inside you will read about the positions from some seniors’ groups, watch organizations, seniors’ networks and labour as to what is important in this election.
Each April we recognize volunteers for their contributions to the non-profit and charitable sector. According to Yahoo, volunteers annually contribute 50 billion dollars to the Canadian economy. Volunteering opens doors for graduates, newcomers and immigrants giving them their first Ontario job experience.
Volunteering keeps retirees active and engaged. Volunteering allows you to do something different or strengthen a cause you believe in. Volunteers are everywhere … in sports, entertainment and arts fields, in hospitals, seniors’ centres, libraries, faith-based organizations, youth groups, service clubs and many more places.
When you think about it, caregivers are the penultimate volunteers. Their contributions go mainly unrecognized. Caregivers are parents, spouses/partners, siblings, family members, friends or neighbours. Caregivers also provide more than 25 billion dollars in health care support every year.
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.