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VICTORIA – “Since becoming B.C.’s second Seniors Advocate in March, I’ve been travelling throughout the province and had the privilege of meeting with hundreds of seniors in both rural and urban communities. I’ve been amazed at the amount of volunteerism and support seniors provide for other seniors.

“Whether it’s cooking and delivering meals, driving to appointments, helping around the house, providing companionship and conversation, or keeping seniors’ centres operating, older British Columbians are stepping up to care for each other.

“Ageing with dignity for many people means remaining independent and autonomous for as long as possible. British Columbians are living longer, healthier lives. While the commitment seniors have for each other and their communities is commendable, we must do more to make sure they can all access the programs, services and supports needed to stay safe and healthy as they age.

“Too many seniors are challenged to find affordable housing; manage the rising cost of living on fixed incomes; adapt their homes or pay increasing property taxes; or access publicly-subsidized home support services, local long-term care or assisted living in a timely manner. These supports and services are essential for a good quality of life for seniors both today, and in the future.

“More British Columbians will be seniors within the next decade than at any other time in our history. We must act now to meet the demands of a growing seniors’ population and ensure older people have the supports they need to thrive in their communities.

“With any luck, we will all be seniors one day. Let’s take a moment during Seniors’ Week this week to recognize their contributions, celebrate their achievements, and do all we can to help them live happy, healthy lives.”

Dan Levitt
BC Seniors Advocate