Alberta Seniors Advocate wants to hear from Central Albertans

Public meeting at Golden Circle Senior Resource Centre on Friday

Alberta Seniors Advocate Sheree Kwong See says getting enough financial support, appropriate home care and access to long term care are issues for seniors and their families.

On Friday Kwong See will be in Red Deer to hear from Central Albertans.

“We’re hearing that people that rely on government financial supports are reporting that they’re just not enough, that the world is changing around them and those supports are not keeping up with the needs,” said Kwong See who will be at Golden Circle Senior Resource Centre.

She said it can be confusing and difficult process for severely handicapped Albertans who are switching to seniors support programs at age 65.

“On AISH you’re usually on complicated and many medications. These are paid for and then when you turn 65 and you need to start paying part of those medications you end up with a really high medication bill that you didn’t have before.”

She said the care seniors receive in continuing care is another concern she has heard, including the training of people working with dementia patients.

The Office of the Seniors Advocate analyzes trends and identifies systemic issues affecting seniors, and makes recommendations to the province to improve services and programs.

Staff also provide information and links seniors to government or community programs and services.

Kwong See said since she became the advocate in September 2016 the office has dealt with about 430 clients with mostly complicated cases.

She said the office has sometimes sought out explanations on behalf of seniors regarding their financial supports.

“Sometimes the explanation is not clear to us, it’s not clear to the senior, and we have advocated to have some decisions revisited. In some cases that has been to the benefit of the person.”

Kwong See said she is not a Government of Alberta employee and her job is to find out what is working and what is not.

“We’re not just referring. I want to know if you went there that you actually got resolution. Did that work or did that not work. And if it doesn’t work, my goal is to speak up.”

Kwong See will be at the Golden Circle for a public meeting from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

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