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Seniors want access to advocate, Towle reports at one-week mark of tour

SEDGEWICK, AB (February 25, 2013): Seniors in Alberta want access to an independent Seniors’ Advocate to work on their behalf and end the fear of retaliation family members face who want to bring care concerns forward, Wildrose Official Opposition Seniors Critic Kerry Towle said at the one-week mark of her 23-town, two-week province wide tour

Highlights from Week One the fact-finding tour include:

  • Several people have spoken about how they are afraid to speak up against AHS for their loved ones due to fear of retaliation.
  • Concerns have been raised that Medevac will be impacted by the routing of flights to the Edmonton International Airport and that it could cost lives.
  • Seniors expressed satisfaction where food is served on site and would like to keep it that way.
  • Seniors favoured the idea of physician support for planning aging care and allowing couples to stay together while in long-term care.
  • Seniors are supportive of Bill 208: The Seniors’ Advocate Act, which would create a permanent position for an advocate to work on seniors’ behalf. The position would be independent and report to the Legislature to hold the government accountable for the services seniors receive.

“Seniors and family members need to be able to speak up about the service they receive from Alberta Health Services and the government,” Towle said. “Meeting with seniors across northern Alberta has been a pleasure, and the generosity of drop-in centres and lodges has been tremendous. It’s clear there are great staff members who truly care about their clients and residents. I am looking forward to hearing the stories and concerns of seniors as I travel to the south.” Since last Tuesday, Towle has met with seniors in Mayerthorpe, Whitecourt, Athabasca, Lac La Biche, St. Paul, Vegreville, Bonnyville and Lloydminster. Towle continues the tour today in Wainwright, Sedgewick and Daysland, with stops in Stettler, Drumheller, Medicine Hat, Bow Island, Lethbridge, Picture Butte, Claresholm, Nanton, Black Diamond, Cochrane, Calgary and Red Deer scheduled for this week. Public tour dates for the southern leg of the trip are available here.