Seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie recently released a report labeled Caregivers in Distress, More Respite Needed. In that report it outlines a crisis in our largest growing demographic. Everyday seniors and their caregivers struggle with day-to-day existence.
One aspect of this alarming report addresses the need for transportation to services. HandyDART has been essential in providing my 93- and 92-year-old parents’ quality of life in their family home. Without affordable quality public transportation for my mom and dad, I would have been in the number of overstressed caregivers. Sadly HandyDART has been disappointing seniors like my parents in recent years.
HandyDART has been under a budget freeze for almost seven years. The provincial government refuses to provide adequate funding to meet the transportation needs of the ‘Grey Tsunami’. Meanwhile TransLink hides the number of trip denials by renaming them as ‘Unaccommodated Standbys’.
People who are frail or cognitively impaired cannot rely on taxis that drop them off at the curb. I am deeply afraid for the remaining years of my parents’ lives without adequate transportation.
Eventually we all need care. We pay taxes our whole life in the hopes that our needs will be met. An investment in seniors and people with disabilities would pay a personal dividend to each and every member of society.
Mark Beeching, Brookswood