Local 3570

Local 3570

A Liberal scam which victimized the frailest

Hi all,
It's taken a long time (3.5 years in fact) for all the chickens to come home to roost on the whole issue of Seniors' housing and care.   The notion that Assisted Living is a better option than Home Support for reasonably able seniors is wrong -- most seniors would prefer to stay in their own homes -- with help that is longterm and reliable.    The notion that Assisted Living can replace Long Term Care for seniors with serious illness and/or handicaps is finally being seen for what it is:  A Liberal scam which victimized the frailest seniors to 'balance the tax-cut budget'.
Whichever way you look at it, the emphasis on Assisted Living, at the cost of all other options, was the Liberals' way of privatizing seniors' care -- a commercial endeavour to politely remove money from the pockets of those seniors who can afford to be fleeced, and at a time when they are more needy and less able to advocate on their own behalf!  The segment of the population which is trully served by Assisted Living is very small -- healthy, able seniors who want to leave their own home.  (There is even talk of requiring seniors to get a declaration of good health from their doctor before being accepted in some Assisted Living facilities!  And the government is apparently willing to allow that criterion for admission.)
Charmaine Spencer from SFU makes a few points below with regard to a newsstory about the latest Assisted Living 'resort' in the Okanagan (see bottom of this email).  She's addressing the Seniors Network of BC.

Hi Phil,


The developer's comments about the proposed Westside Retirement Resort  in Westbank may leave the public confused about the concept of assisted living from a marketing or  an "aging in place" perspective. 


On the marketing side, assisted living is [ostensibly] intended for people who are having difficulty living on their own. This raises the question [at Westwood Resort for 'perky seniors'], "Why would 'healthy' older people leave their own home to move into assisted living at a substantial cost to themselves (e.g., $21,600 to $48,000 a year)?" It completely ignores the rationale and purpose of assisted living.


“Aging in place” means being able to live where you are, as you grow older. This is accomplished by having additional support and services available if and when your health or abilities decline.  Aging in place does not mean having to move on when a developer or operator considers you have become too much work. Unfortunately, the assisted living model being used in BC is not 'aging in place'.


As a final note, asking people to prove they are healthy by requiring a medical certificate before they move in, clearly flies in the face of human rights law in BC.  Section 8 (1) of the BC Human Rights Code prohibits denying to a person or class of persons "any accommodation, service or facility customarily available to the public" on a number of grounds, including physical disability "without a bona fide and reasonable justification".  


Assisted living is a form of accommodation, service or facility ”customarily available to the public”. Owners cannot ask a person for proof of health before moving into independent housing or supportive housing; they certainly cannot do it for assisted living.


 Charmaine Spencer, LL.M.

Research Associate, Gerontology Research Centre &

Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Gerontology

Simon Fraser University

2800-515 West Hastings Street

Vancouver, BC, Canada

V6B 5K3

Phone: (604) 291-5047

Fax: (604) 291-5066

Email : cspencer@shaw.ca

----- Original Message -----
From: Phil Lyons
To: seniors network
F.Y.I.--and don't be sick or cofused but bring lots of money.   Assisted livinfg for whom???

New building promises cruise-ship living every day
Westside 23 Feb 2005
Byline: Dorothy Brotherton

"We appeal to perky seniors," said Ed Hall, of Canadian Adult Communities, which is building Westwood Retirement Resort on Ingram and Elliot Roads in Westbank.

Westwood, which is set to open in the fall, will differ from assisted-living seniors residences in that prospective residents must be in good health to qualify to get in.

"We ask for a medical certificate that you are healthy," said Hall. "It is congregate living and there is some aging-in-place. If you come in totally fit and healthy, we can adjust to some of the changing needs for care."

In ordinary assisted-living residences, a prospective resident needs to qualify through the Interior Health Authority as needing a certain level of care before he or she can get in.

The concept of congregate living at Westwood is something Hall calls, "cruise ship living every day."

Westwood is one of three Regency Retirement Resorts in the Central Okanagan. Besides Westwood, there is Missionwood, on Barnes Road and Gordon Drive in Kelowna, and Sandalwood on Yates at Glenmore.

Amenities vary, but at Missionwood, for example, there is a billiard parlour, 32-seat theatre, Internet cafe, library and conservatory, games salon, kitchen and chapel in the common areas.

Monthly fees include private suites, utilities, the evening meal, weekly linen service and housekeeping, scheduled transportation, cable TV, and a 24-hour health and security monitoring response system.

Options may be added if needed -- laundry, daily housekeeping, bathing assistance, medical reminders, and handyman services. Additional meals are an added monthly charge.

"It's about enrichment and trying to make life enjoyable. That's why we say this is where you deserve to live," said Hall. "It's more like a hotel than a care facility."

Hall explained that Canadian Adult Communities has been building gated communities for more than 20 years, which catered to people in their 60s. Sun Village and the Pointe on the Westside are examples.

"After 20 years, for a number of our clients, the housing was not appropriate anymore, but nothing of the kind of quality they wanted was available."

Hall approached Pacific Sun Enterprises, which runs several styles of seniors residences in the Okanagan. They joined forces four years ago and built Sandalwood.

"With success, we then saw the needs in Mission and Westbank."

Canadian Adult Communities and Pacific Sun Enterprises together are the developers, owners and operators.

Monthly rents at Westwood are expected to range from $1,800 to $4,000. The complex is planned for 123 units at a cost of $15 million.

For more information phone 868-8834 or check www.regency-retirement-resorts.com.

Edition: Final
Story Type: Business
Length: 421 words