New Democrat Leader Ryan Meili pledged today that an NDP government would introduce the best home care in Canada, and get seniors the care they need by hiring 700 additional home care staff to provide the medical, cleaning, cooking, and repair assistance seniors need to live independently and with dignity.
“I’ve heard from so many families who are juggling kids, careers, and aging parents,” said Meili. “They were stretched before the pandemic hit. Now, with the risk of a second wave, they need to know that their government has their back, and will invest what it takes to ensure that their parents will have the helping hand they need to stay in their own homes longer. That’s why, if elected, New Democrats are committed to making sure seniors can stay in their homes as long as possible. It provides families some much needed help in caring for an aging loved one, it takes the pressure off of ERs and our overburdened long-term care system, it means better health and social outcomes for seniors, and it lowers health care costs as these investments are less expensive than hospital and long-term care beds.”
Meili was joined by Saskatoon Eastview resident Kathie Cram, who struggled to support her aging parents to stay in their own home, and now worries that without action to reverse the Sask. Party’s underfunding, she won’t be able to stay in her home as long as she would like.
“To me this is very personal,” said Cram. “When my parents needed home care support, my sister and I turned ourselves inside out trying to provide those services. I was a single mother of a teenage girl at the time, and I felt so stretched – I can’t imagine families in that situation now, juggling kids, careers and aging parents during a pandemic, who could really benefit from a helping hand from home care.
“Now I’m a senior myself. I live in my own home, and I’d like to be able to stay in my home as long as I can. The help that Ryan is talking about offering Saskatchewan people today could really make a big difference for so many families.”
Meili committed $50 million to the initiative, which would allow for the hiring of approximately 200 certified care aides, 100 licenced practical nurses, 70 registered nurses, 100 caretakers, 40 carpenters, 50 cooks, 80 groundskeepers, and 60 occupational therapists. He underscored the importance of reversing the Sask. Party’s record of mean and reckless cuts that have made life more difficult for seniors and made staying in their homes and their communities as they age harder. These cuts include:
- The elimination of the Saskatchewan Hearing Aid Plan that provided accessible hearing services and affordable hearing aids to Saskatchewan seniors;
- The sell-off of low income seniors’ housing in over 30 communities;
- The elimination of a provincial support for seniors living with disabilities;
- Changes to the Seniors Drug Plan that removed access to affordable medication for over 6,000 hardworking, middle-class seniors and raised the costs for those who remain eligible for the plan; and
- The sell-off of STC, a vital Crown Corporation that seniors across the province relied on to access medical appointments or visit their loved ones.
“As a family doctor, I worked every day with patients who were struggling and sick because this government was putting politics before people,” said Meili. “We can and must do better by building the best home care in Canada, so older adults can age with dignity in their own homes.”