British Columbia’s first and newly appointed Seniors Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie, is coming to the North Island and will be a keynote speaker at the Health Network Forum Nov. The Forum’s topic will be access to health services. If you have some ideas on issues you would like her to be aware of, the Health Network is planning to send her some preparatory information and would be happy to receive your thoughts.
Meanwhile, the following below are some overviews of assistance available for seniors. Please contact the programs for details.
Further to the recent column (available North Island Gazette online) on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day June 15, financial abuse of B.C. seniors is common enough that provincial resources are being dedicated to deal with it. If you or someone you know has someone pressuring them for money, property, control of a Will or misuse of Power of Attorney, the Seniors Abuse and Information Line may be of assistance: 1 866-437-1940 or VictimLink BC, 1-800-563-0808.
Travel Assistance Program (TAP)will cover travel expenses to a specialist your doctor refers you to. Essentially the steps are to fill out a TAP form obtained through your doctor, obtain a confirmation number using the phone number on the form, and present the completed form when you make reservations. If traveling by ferry be sure to turn in the form at least an hour before planned departure.
BC Services Card
The B.C. government is now combining Care Cards and drivers licenses. People over 75 can carry on using their Care Card. Others can obtain the combined card when they renew their driver’s license (once every five years)
Thanks to Gail Neely, Chair of the Seniors Elders Better Living Advisory Committee, here are the steps:
1. Wait for your notification to renew driver’s license or BCID card or BC Medical Services Premium;
2. Check your driver’s license and care card to be sure your name exactly matches on both. If not, call Health Insurance BC at 1-800-663-7100;
3. Visit ICBC office with two pieces of ID, Care card and one other (Driver’s license, BC ID, passport, SIN)
4. Confirm you are a B.C. resident (you can use a phone or hydro bill). Have your photo taken;
5. Your new BC Services Card will arrive by mail.
For more details, visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
For local leaders and planners, some resources to assist your efforts include a web site — agefriendlymanitoba.ca.
Launched in March 2011, the Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative Web site is an online, one-stop resource centre that will provide Age-friendly communities with information, discussions, resources, and identify key persons to assist communities in becoming more age-friendly.”
Also, Alert Bay was one of the ten communities in Canada where a focus group was held to inform “Age-Friendly Rural and Remote Communities – A Guide. This document is available on-line.
The focus group discussions highlight a number of housing-related issues and potential opportunities for consideration in rural and remote communities across Canada.
They highlight age-friendly features, barriers to and suggestions for improving age-friendliness.
Finally, be aware of a call for proposals for the Community Accessibility Stream of the Enabling Accessibility Fund deadline August 1.
Funds can be used to improve accessibility in communities renovating, retrofitting, and constructing community facilities where programs are offered to people with disabilities. This can include retrofitting motor vehicles used as community-based transportation, and providing information and communications technologies to make them more accessible for the community www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/disability/eaf/index.shtml to get information on eligibility and application information.
Barb Park is coordinator of the Mount Waddington Health Network, which advocates for North Islanders across a spectrum of health and social services issues. email@example.com.