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LETTER: Ask candidates where they stand on issues impacting seniors

Enabling older adults to live and age well in their communities requires investment to ensure financial, housing, health care security, and social inclusion for a population living longer than ever before, CHATS CEO says
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As Canadians head to the polls over the next week, politicians and parties are no doubt focused on how they can bring out the vote from young to old alike. Here in York Region and South Simcoe, the population is increasingly made up of seniors. For the first time in Canadian history, seniors actually outnumber children and by 2056, a third of our population will be 65 and older. Seniors are a powerful voting bloc for all parties. And they do vote. 

This election campaign affords all of us an opportunity to discuss and address issues that concern seniors now, and into the future. CHATS-Community & Home Assistance to Seniors, is one of the largest agencies in our catchment area, serving more than 8,500 older adults and caregivers. As a recognized leader in supporting seniors to live independently and safely in their own homes as long as possible, CHATS has reached out locally to all parties and candidates on behalf of our clients, to raise awareness of their issues and concerns. 

Enabling older adults to live and age well in their communities requires critical investments in strategies and programs to ensure financial, housing, healthcare security, and social inclusion for a population that is living longer than ever before. 

Regardless of the outcome of this election, we will need to continue to advocate that the federal government implement a national seniors’ strategy that supports policies and programs enabling Canada’s older adults access to senior-friendly housing, pension security, an equitable national pharmacare program, and supports for both in-home and community care. Of equal importance, support for family caregivers—who are experiencing unprecedented challenges and burnout from caring for their loved ones—is a crucial necessity. 

As the campaign period moves into its final week, it is not too late to ask your local candidates to share their positions on the issues that affect this significant portion of our country’s population. 

Christina Bisanz
Chief Executive Officer, CHATS