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PC record on seniors: nothing's changed

EDMONTON, AB (November 25, 2014): Under the PC government, nothing has changed on the issues impacting seniors across the province whether it’s with chronic shortages in long-term care nursing beds, enforcing a cruel divorce by nursing home policy that separates seniors from loved ones, or inadequate care standards in facilities across the province, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

Health Minister Stephen Mandel has committed to the same failed policies of the Redford government by refusing to seriously address the long-term care nursing beds shortage across the province.  In 2013 alone, the shortage of long-term care beds cost taxpayers $400 million.

“There is only one party in Alberta that is committed to improving the lives of seniors, and bringing in bold, innovative and new ideas to fix a broken health care system,” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said.  “Albertans want a new generation of leaders that are principled, caring and have a real plan to put the needs of our vulnerable seniors first.  The Wildrose plan will do exactly that.”

A Wildrose government is committed to improving the lives of seniors by:

·         Restoring all funding cut by the PCs and add a backdated inflationary increase for long term care facilities that care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s and other higher needs conditions;

·         Investing $50 million to re-open closed transition and long-term care beds;

·         Investing $50 million to expand homecare funding and then annually increasing homecare funding to keep up with enrolment;

·         Ensuring all seniors' care facilities are meeting meal quality and bathing standards; and

·         Ending the divorce by nursing home 80-kilometre rule so married couples can continue to live together in dignity.

Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said despite platitudes and promises from the PC government, there are seniors in facilities across Alberta getting only one or two baths a week, not  being fed properly and being needlessly separated in nursing facilities across Alberta.

“Albertans believe we can and must do better for our seniors, but they have watched this government time and time again fail to deliver on their promises,” Forsyth said.  “In a province as prosperous as Alberta, there is no excuse for our government not to be supporting our seniors in a way that treats them with compassion and allows them to live with dignity.”