Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism
“My world has fallen apart.” Harold sighed. “I am only age 83. I am healthy but I feel lost since my wife died 18 months ago. I can handle yard and repairs but I never realized how much work there is to feed myself and keep the house clean.“
Harold said he only cooked KD and scrambled eggs and toast. He discovered bugs in a cupboard and his daughter noticed dirt when she visited. “If I could get an understanding person to help with food and cleaning, it would make a big difference. But where can I find someone?”
Harold is an example of the challenges older adults face as they age. If they lose a life partner the world changes drastically. They may be living in the home of their choice but feel their independent living is being threatened. The last thing they want is to “end up in an old folks’ home.” Why should they?
What could make for healthier, happier older people and stronger, active communities in Saskatchewan?
We can learn from other places. Government investment in practical Home Supports for older adults who require mostly non-medical services provides good options for aging. There is even a new name for what is happening world-wide as the older population increases — the Silver Economy. The silver economy includes all those economic activities, products and services designed to meet the needs of older people.
Promoting health and activity in older age is the foundation for the silver economy. Making society more age-friendly and appreciating the value and needs of senior citizens is central. In all communities, there will be demand for service “businesses” to meet the needs of older people. Communities will benefit from this growth. Some services may be provided by volunteers who receive the rewards of seeing their skills being used and appreciated. Communities can keep their population base and be attractive places to live.
Costs to individuals could be subsidized according to income, with many paying full price for dependable services and some paying on a sliding scale. The data from other places proves that the costs of investing in Home Supports and helping seniors age in the home of their choice is about one-third the cost of paying to keep older adults in residential long term care!
Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism (SSM) is asking you to add your name to the list of persons who see the immense benefits of providing Home Supports. More names will help our advocacy but we will not share your contact information. SSM will communicate directly with you through the HSI Newsletter, sent via email.
Visit the SSM website www.skseniorsmechanism.ca to learn more about Home Supports.