Unlike the U.K. Canada has no special assistance for seniors that I can determine. In the U.K. there are programs to insulate seniors homes, install safety items around the home, and help with heating bills during cold weather. These are at no cost to the senior but intended to make sure that older Brits can live at home safely for as long as possible. In Canada they make it almost impossible for seniors to stay in their homes unless they are reasonably wealthy. Take my case in point. About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with throat cancer and after various treatments, namely radiation, chemotherapy and surgery I have been living and working to maintain a relatively normal life. My issue with our system is this. As a result of the radiation I have to maintain my dental work at the Princess Margaret Hospital dental clinic.The radiation tends to damage the gums and teeth as so it is necessary for fluoride treatments, constant cleanings and fillings. After one cleaning recently and a subsequent series of fillings, my bill was around $2000.00 which was added to my ongoing balance. I try to pay it off at $100.00 per month as I am now on the government O.A.S and C.P.P with some extra income from lawn and garden work that I do in the summer months. I contacted the O.H.I.P office to see if this might be covered as it is a direct result of illness and treatment. The answer was a flat NO.
As I get older I know that there will come a time, sooner than later that I will be unable to do the work I do, and then unable to pay off this huge debt. It is also quite likely with the constant increase in energy costs, that I will be unable to afford to continue renting my modest cottage.
I realize that over the years I have not always made the wisest of choices, but I have managed to work all my life and contribute to society with taxes, charitable donation and helping in community and church affairs. Why is it then that our government can treat refugees with a higher degree of concern and monitory assistance than our aging population? If we as seniors rose up and organized ourselves into one major group, the government would be begging to listen to our concerns. What about a new seniors political organization or lobby group and even maybe a new party?