CARP

January 25, 2015




Dodging A Bullet
The Middle-Aged Guide to Growing Up


Readers of this blog will recall in the last installment, I had been diagnosed with growths on the larynx that might be cancer, and needed excising. The downside was that, if surgery WAS required, I’d lose my voice along with the growths, and be left with a husky whisper. Not an optimum outcome for an actor. Of course, I had no one to blame but myself. As a chain smoker for 45 years, I was convinced I was ironclad, so imagine my surprise when I discovered there were consequences to my behaviour. I quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes within a couple of days of the diagnosis. Read more

Bracing for the Falls of an Aging Nation
As people live longer, the number of seniors who fall and suffer serious, even fatal, injuries is soaring


Those who study and manage retirement facilities and nursing homes say there is heightened attention to preventing falls. Trying to anticipate hazardous conditions, retirement facilities like The Sequoias hire architects and interior designers, some of whom wear special glasses that show the building as an old person would see it. The dangers are real. The number of people over 65 who died after a fall reached nearly 24,000 in 2012, the most recent year for which fatality numbers are available — almost double the number 10 years earlier... Read more

Carol IN YOUR Corner
The CRA, Service Canada & Your Benefits as well as No Fee Seniors' Bank Accounts


In December, 2014 Canada Revenue Agency announced that starting January 1, 2015 all federal refunds and benefits would be deposited directly into recipients’ bank accounts. Given the reduction in delivery services by Canada Post, the possible loss of cheques in the mail or stolen from outside mail boxes, and other eventualities, this is probably a convenience for most people. But not all. There is a sizeable number of Canadians who – for personal reasons – prefer to receive that cheque; or are in circumstances where they are homeless, or transient without a permanent address, possibly trying to deal with serious financial or health problems. Read more

An Insider’s View of Canada’s Pension Debate?
In-depth analysis and insightful commentary by pension expert Leo Kolivakis


At the end of December, Dana Flavelle of the Toronto Star interviewed Sun Life’s Tom Reid who provided an insider’s view of the pension debate: "Amid growing concerns some Canadians won’t have enough money saved for a comfortable retirement, the government of Ontario has announced plans to launch its own Canada Pension Plan-style program within two years..." Read more

Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefit rates effective January 1st, 2015
CARP Members currently receiving CPP and/or OAS take note!


Employment and Social Development Canada today announced the benefit amounts for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) effective January 1, 2015. CPP benefits will increase by 1.8 percent for those already receiving CPP benefits. For 2015, the maximum CPP retirement benefit for new recipients age 65 will be $1,065.00 per month. This increase is calculated on the average yearly maximum pensionable earnings for the last five years. Read more

Are you 65 or older? Claim your benefits and credits!
A message from the CRA


There are several benefits and credits designed for seniors, here is a handy list to help you see if you are making the most of them... Pension income amount – You may be able to claim up to $2,000 if you reported eligible pension, superannuation, or annuity payments on your return. Pension income splitting – If you’re receiving a pension, you may be eligible to split up to 50% of your eligible pension income with your spouse or common-law partner. Read more





The CARP Poll: Year End Poll Report
Virtually all CARP members donate to charity during the year, do some volunteering, or both!


Virtually all members celebrate Christmas, most as a family holiday rather than as a religious one. By the same token, virtually all members donate to charity during the year or do some volunteering or both. On average, about $700 per year is donated, and about two weeks is spent volunteering among those who do either. Members give and volunteer to help, to give back and to support specific goals. Few donate for the tax receipt... Read more

Take Immediate Steps to Prevent Future Fire Tragedies like last January's Isle Verte Fire
CARP's Open Letter to Provincial, Territorial and Federal Ministers


A year has passed since the fire tragedy at the Résidence du Havre nursing home in L’Isle-Verte, Quebec, which killed 32 people and left 15 others injured on January 23, 2014. CARP is calling on all provincial, territorial and federal governments to take immediate steps to prevent future fire tragedies as occurred at L’Isle Verte by legislating retrofitting of fire sprinklers in all care homes built before 1997, which are not currently covered by national building and fire codes requirements. Read more

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CARP Nursing Home Safety Poll
1. It is now a year since the tragic fire at the L’Isle Verte nursing home in Quebec in which 32 residents died in the part of the home that did not have sprinklers. The residents in the new, sprinklered section survived. Do you agree or disagree nursing homes are any safer in the event of a fire in Canada now than they were last year

Agree strongly

Agree

Disagree

Disagree strongly

DON’T KNOW

2. Are you currently in a nursing home, or is someone close to you in a nursing home?

Yes, me

Yes, someone close to me

No

3. Do you agree or disagree the residents in this nursing home would be safe in the event of a fire?

Agree strongly

Agree

Disagree

Disagree strongly

DON’T KNOW

NO ONE I KNOW IS IN A NURSING HOME

4. As far as you know, what is the greatest single danger to resident safety in nursing homes?

Fire

Infectious diseases like the flu

Abuse by staff

Abuse by other residents

Food-borne illnesses

Neglect by staff

Poor sanitation/cleanliness

OTHER

DON’T KNOW

5. What is the single most important step that could be taken to prevent fatalities in nursing home fires?

Retrofitting ALL nursing homes with sprinklers

Regular fire drills

Better staff training

Prominently displaying escape routes

Fireproof doors

Escape ladders

OTHER

DON’T KNOW

NO NEW MEASURES NEEDED

6. Since 1997, national building codes have required sprinklers in all newly built care homes, but not in pre-existing homes. Most provinces have not taken action to mandate sprinklers for homes built before 1997, with the exceptions of Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador but with 5 – 10 year delays. Were you aware that in Canada most nursing homes built before 1997 still are not legally required to have fire sprinklers?

Yes, am aware that older homes in most provinces are not required to have sprinklers

No, was not aware

7. Would a lack of fire sprinklers in a nursing home affect your decision to live in a nursing home or to choose a home for a family member?

Yes – Would avoid a nursing home without fire sprinklers

No – Not concerned about lack of fire sprinklers

DON’T KNOW/OTHER

8. Sprinkler systems reduce fire-related injuries and deaths by 80%, compared to non-sprinkler care homes. They reduce property damage by 68%. It costs much more to retrofit a care home with sprinklers than to install them during construction. Why do you think most provincial governments have not legislated retrofitting care homes with sprinklers?

Cost is too great to retrofit pre-1997 nursing homes

Nursing home safety not a Government priority

Seniors groups need to exert more pressure

Voters of all ages need to exert more pressure

Unconscious ageism at work

OTHER

DON’T KNOW

8a. The costs of fire safety retrofitting include expanding water mains and ensuring sufficient water pressure as well as installing the sprinklers and fire walls and doors throughout the home and can therefore be costly. What is your solution to this issue?

Facilities should not be required to retrofit if too costly

Government should fund all retrofits

Facilities should be monetarily liable for deaths and injuries if no retrofit

Facilities should be closed if not retrofitted

Community can fundraise to retrofit

Government should be monetarily liable for deaths and injuries if no retrofit law and enforcement

OTHER

DON’T KNOW

8b If fire safety retrofit is required by law, how long should care homes have to fully comply?

One year

Two years

Five years

Ten years

As long as they need

Immediately

OTHER

DON’T KNOW

9. Do you agree or disagree most care homes staff and operators are well-trained and prepared to protect residents in fires and other emergency situations?

Agree strongly

Agree

Disagree

Disagree strongly

DON’T KNOW

10. Including the fire at L’Isle Verte, there have been 140 deaths due to fire in ten separate nursing homes in Canada. Do you agree or disagree that government foot-dragging on making sprinklers required for ALL nursing homes is due to ageism?

Agree strongly

Agree

Disagree

Disagree strongly

DON’T KNOW

11. Do you agree or disagree that government foot-dragging on making sprinklers required for ALL nursing homes is due to the high costs required for pre-existing private and public care homes to retrofit?

Agree strongly

Agree

Disagree

Disagree strongly

DON’T KNOW

12. Do you agree or disagree that all nursing homes should be legally liable for the health and safety of their residents at all times?

Agree strongly

Agree

Disagree

Disagree strongly

DON’T KNOW

13. Do you agree or disagree that every resident of a nursing home in Canada has the right to be safe and protected from preventable harm, abuse or neglect?

Agree strongly

Agree

Disagree

Disagree strongly

DON’T KNOW

14. Do you agree or disagree the current government places the interests of nursing home operators above those of nursing home residents?

Agree strongly

Agree

Disagree

Disagree strongly

DON’T KNOW

15. If a federal election were held tomorrow, which party’s candidate would you support?

Conservative

Liberal

NDP

Green Party

Bloc Quebecois

OTHER

UNDECIDED

16. And which party do you EXPECT to win the next election?

Conservative

Liberal

NDP

Green Party

Bloc Quebecois

OTHER

DON’T KNOW

17. Where do you live?

Newfoundland

Nova Scotia

PEI

New Brunswick

Quebec

Ontario

Manitoba

Saskatchewan

Alberta

BC/Territories

18. What is your gender?

Male

Female

  [See Results]
Previous Issues/Archives
December 23rd, 2014
December 11th, 2014
November 27th, 2014
November 10th, 2014
October 17th, 2014
September 6th, 2014
September 23rd, 2014

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Tragedy at L’Isle Verte in 2014
What happened last year and what has happened since?


Key findings from the testimonies presented during the inquest show that neither the owners of the home nor the staff were prepared to properly execute an evacuation of residents. The Résidence du Havre was also not fully equipped with fire sprinklers and other preventative measures, such as fire separation walls. On the night of the fire, there was only one night security guard on duty, according to the testimony; there were no other staff that night for a 52 unit building with most residents over the age of 85, some of whom had dementia... Read more

CARP members call for disruptive change in health care
System is failing members badly, a call to action is needed


Seventy-five percent (75%) of CARP members call for transformative change in the health care system they say is not meeting their needs, too difficult to navigate and is not patient-centred despite jargon to the contrary. They also see direct medical care as only one of five pillars of health care that would more fully provide for the health and well-being of Canadians... Read more

The two sleeper issues of the 2015 federal election
Seniors’ issues and health care are being discussed around dinner tables accross the country and bubbling under the surface


Holidays are assumed to be down times for politics, but over the past decade in Canada, political fates could well have been influenced by conversations at holiday gatherings. The 2005-06 campaign — the one that brought the Conservatives to power — included a Christmas break. The 2008 election took place a few days after Thanksgiving. The 2011 campaign featured a brief timeout for Easter and Passover. Read more





Some seniors are at greater risk of abuse during holiday season, advocates warn
CARP Ottawa Chapter Chair Janet Gray Interviewed for this piece


Elder abuse happens around the city every day, but holidays present a greater risk when seniors are more apt to find themselves in situations with whose are most likely to victimize them: Family and friends. “One time I got a call from the director of a care from a nursing home,” said Staff Sgt. Stephanie Burns of the Ottawa Police Service’s elder abuse unit. The caller was concerned that an elderly woman’s children were emptying her bank account without her knowledge. Read more

Newest CARP Member in Whiterock, BC, traveled world with MS
Inspiration for the New Year


Linda McGowan, author of "Traveling the World With Multiple Sclerosis…In A Wheelchair", is a new member of CARP- A New Vision of Aging for Canada, White Rock/Surrey Chapter. McGowan completed her last marathon several months before being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1983. Her diagnosis, however, didn’t slow her down and since that day she has travelled in a wheelchair to more than 110 countries, from the Falkland Islands to the Himalayas. Her new book, Travelling the World With Multiple Sclerosis, chronicles her compelling story. Read more




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