Equality Report Card: Care for Seniors

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Our Analysis:

The additional funding promised for homecare in the recent budget is significant: $2.2 million dollars, or almost 8% of new spending in Health.

Social Services supports programs to allow seniors to remain in their own homes and communities longer, including the Seniors Emergency Home Repair program (matched grant of $1,500 for low income seniors for repairs to enhance livability and comfort). The 2009/2010 budget increases this program by $150,000 to bring it to $500,000.

It is still unclear where government sees the balance between support for seniors to live in their homes and communities and support for their caregivers, so that the pressure does not fall to family, neighbours, and friends (most often women). New investment in homecare is welcome: is it sufficient? What about wraparound services, such as broad-based public transit that works in concert with specialized services such as Transportation West (which received welcome increased funding in the budget)?

Community organizations see the Salvation Army Fuel Program as an unfortunate example of the government off-loading responsibility for managing an important program for low-income Islanders onto a volunteer organization, and an example of treating a social program as “charity” rather than public policy. We would like to see government consult with the community to develop effective partnership models for work with community organizations and agencies.


This is an excerpt from the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women 2009 Equality Report Card for PEI, released in June 2009 and based on information updated to May 30, 2009.

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