Supporting Seniors Independence
2019 Provincial Election Platform Policy
An Alberta Party government would take bold steps to help seniors age with respect and dignity, including the establishment of 3,500 long term care beds, and a new program to help seniors continue to live independently.
“More and more families are facing the realities of aging parents and relatives, and they’re finding our province unprepared for a situation that’s been anticipated for decades. They are sandwiched and stressed, and it’s completely unacceptable. The hard work of Alberta’s seniors built this province, and they deserve to age with respect and dignity. We’re going help them maintain their independence, support the family members who care for them, and plan ahead so that we’re ready for an aging population.” - Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel
An Alberta Party government will take immediate actions to help seniors continue to live in their communities, and support families who are caring for aging relatives. The plan includes the following:
- Creation of 3,500 long term care beds with community partners, similar to the Alberta Supportive Living Initiative. Each bed is estimated to cost around $65,000 to establish, and $75,000 per year to operate, for a $230 million capital cost, and $260 million annual operating cost.
- Creation of a pilot similar to The “Better At Home” will help seniors and families with costs of home supports such as snow shoveling, meal preparation, grocery delivery, and lawn maintenance. This enables seniors to continue to live independently (or with family members), rather than be forced out of their homes prematurely. The pilot will be launched in mid-sized cities, such as Grande Prairie & Medicine Hat . Estimated cost of the pilot is $1.75 million per year.
- New Alberta Caregiver Tax Credit to support caregivers. The credit will mirror the Canada Caregiver Credit, ranging from $2,182 to $6,986 per year for each caregiver.
- Keeping spouses together. By implementing a more effective wait list management policy partners will stay together. Up to 10% of seniors live apart for and separating partners places great strain on seniors and their families.
- Enact a single application to support programming by seniors facilities. The single application will consolidate access to 10 different provincial programs currently providing funding to organizations that support seniors. Reducing administrative means seniors will get services quicker.
- Support Indigenous seniors. We will work with Indigenous leaders and organizations to improve programs and facilities to support cultural, spiritual, language, dietary, and inter-generational care-giving practices, and support training to caregivers to help ensure culturally appropriate care-giving.
- Establish a separate and new Ministry of Seniors. This ministry will assume the budget and authority of the current Ministry of Seniors and Housing, along with grants to seniors. A new Ministry of Housing will be established.