April 18, 2014

CARP takes Fair Elections Act opposition to Parliament Hill
CARP's Presentation to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs

CARP opposed the Fair Elections Act at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs in Ottawa on Monday April 7th. CARP presented the findings of the member poll while also making specific recommendations. Findings included the fact that CARP members see reduced voter participation as a bigger problem than voter fraud by a factor of 4:1 [63%:15%]". Read more

Press Release: Vast Majority of CARP Members Reject Fair Elections Act
CARP Poll™: Support for government crumbles

It turns out the Fair Elections Act is a ballot issue for CARP members... The effect of the Bill on CARP support for the government has been dramatic. Electoral preference among decided voters for the Conservatives, (relatively steady at 33% two weeks ago) has tumbled to 26% now, putting them close to third place NDP with 17%. In contrast, support for the Liberals has soared... Read more

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The Huffington Post: CARP's Elections Act Position takes Centre Stage in Ottawa
Parliamentarians ask the Prime Minister to address the concerns raised by CARP

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper if he was concerned by a warning from CARP, the largest seniors organization in Canada, that Bill C-23 would make it more difficult for seniors to vote. CARP also released a an emotional letter from a woman who described in great detail how her 97-year-old mother would be denied her right to vote. Read more

Critics argue Election Act isn’t actually ‘fair’ at all
Susan Eng comments and also presents CARP member poll findings

Susan Eng, the VP of CARP Advocacy, attended a expert panel discussion of the Fair Elections Act, B C-23, that was featured on CTV’s Question Period with Bob Fife on April 13th, 2014. A very interesting discussion ensued. Read more

Canadians heading for a retirement income crisis
Urgent action is required: Canadians heading into retirement do not have adequate savings

The warning bells have been clear, but they are growing increasingly louder: Canadians are not saving enough for retirement, and they’ve got to do something about it, quickly. Nearly 1.3 million workers in Ontario do not have access to any type of employer-sponsored workplace pension. In Canada’s private sector, only one person in five has a workplace pension. If retirees are not able to maintain their standard of living in retirement, there could be a domino effect that would hurt the overall economy. Read more

Low interest rates come with high cost for savers, retirees
CARP Mississauga Chapter director Peter Wong's print and audio interviews

While overleveraged homeowners worry when record low borrowing rates will come to an end, savers on the other end of the spectrum are anxious to see yields get back to more normal levels. The Bank of Canada kept its benchmark rate steady at one per cent on Wednesday, in line with what economists were expecting and the same level it’s been at since September 2011. Read more

Immigrants face ‘unreasonable’ hurdles with Old Age Security, critics say
Too many documents needed to prove all the dates they entered and exited the country

Branko Sucic has been waiting a long time for his Old Age Security pension. He first applied for the payments in 2004, but 10 years later he’s no closer to getting what he deserves. “He could die by the time this goes through,” said his daughter Marianne Rukavina, whose father immigrated to Canada in 1970. “This is so wrong…and I just want to make it right.” Read more

VIEW FROM THE FRONT: Regional News and Chapter Updates

CARP Halifax on door-to-door sales regulations

Nova Scotia recently introduced tougher regulations for door-to-door sales to help protect older Canadians from potential fraud or financial abuse. CARP Halifax Chapter Chair, Bill VanGorder, recently talked to CBC on these new regulations. Read more

Only about 2,500 apply for ambulance fee break
Too few Nova Scotia seniors know about this helpful program

About 2,500 Nova Scotians — far fewer than expected — have ap­plied to have their ambulance bills waived since an assistance pro­gram for low-income residents was rolled out about 19 months ago. The number shows more must be done to make people aware of the program, Health Minister Leo Glavine said Friday. Read more

Let’s Talk: Canadian Dementia Care is in Need of a Paradigm Overhaul
World-class care can provide sufferers with a high quality of life, but it requires tremendous empathy

CARP Action Online, special issue commentary: Malcolm Young, AC/DC’s guitarist, is suffering from a form of dementia? That news was shocking this week, especially given that Young is only 61. Boomers who have been caring for suffering parents have been bracing themselves for a wave of new cases of dementia – but surely it can’t have begun already? Read more

Problems with the Survey?

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CARP Dementia Poll
1. Has someone close to you or someone you know been diagnosed with some form of dementia?

Yes, me

Yes, spouse

Yes, sibling

Yes, someone I know

Yes, more than one person I know


2. Are you a caregiver to someone with dementia or do you know someone who is?

Yes, me

Yes, someone I know


3. Do you agree or disagree that as the aging population grows, the number of cases of dementia will increase?

Agree strongly



Disagree strongly


4. As people live longer, do you agree or disagree there’s a greater chance that individuals will suffer dementia at some point?

Agree strongly



Disagree strongly


5. Do you agree or disagree enough is being done to prepare for this coming increase?

Agree strongly



Disagree strongly



6. How has dementia affected your family or the family of someone you know?

Imposed financial hardships

Imposed extreme stress on a caregiver

Caused family rifts

Drawn family closer

Hasn’t affected family



7. We’re going to ask about some solutions to the coming increase in dementia cases. CARP recommends a comprehensive, nationally funded strategy that would start with caregiver support, including work leave protection, professional training, financial support and respite opportunities. How good an idea is this?

Excellent idea, caregivers are at the front line of dementia care

Good idea, will provide some help to caregivers

OK idea, nothing special

Poor idea, wouldn’t help caregivers



8. Another CARP solution is better professional training for doctors and nurses on dealing with dementia, as well as training for first responders and Personal Services Workers (PSWs). How good an idea is this?

Excellent idea, increase awareness of/respect for dementia

Good idea, professionals are not well-trained now

OK idea, nothing special

Poor idea, more training isn’t the answer



9. Another CARP solution is a seamless and holistic approach to moving the patient through the healthcare system, with the assistance of a navigator and a team approach to deal with multiple conditions dementia patients may develop. How good an idea is this?

Excellent idea, will ensure patient and family-focused care

Good idea, improvement on current scatter-shot approach to care

OK idea, nothing special

Poor idea, just more bureaucracy/management/administration



10. Another CARP solution is to embed the power of a final directive, or Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) in law to make sure that patients are ensured the level of care they planned for. How good an idea is this?

Excellent idea, will guarantee final wishes are met as planned

Good idea, the law is murky now

OK idea, nothing special

Poor idea, don’t believe in DNRs/final directives



11. As far as you know, are there any effective treatments or cures for dementia?




12. In fact, dementia is currently untreatable. Is CARP’s approach of mitigating harm, raising awareness and supporting caregivers the right approach to dealing with dementia or not?

Yes, need to help patients and families now

No, more aggressive attempts should be made to find cure

More study needed


13. What is the best way of reducing or eliminating harm or stress to caregivers to those with dementia?

Respite leave

Temporary care facilities

Funding for more home care/Personal Care Workers

Counselling/support networks for caregivers


14. What is the best way of eliminating stress or harm to those with dementia?

Specially designed residential facilities

Gated “Dementia villages” with easily navigated landscapes

Dementia awareness among service industry personnel

More training for first responders

More funding for home care/Personal Care Workers

Cognitive exercises/training


Personalized supervised care

Nursing home


15. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates dementia costs Canada $15 billion a year and warns that the costs will increase as the population ages. Do you agree or disagree Canada is prepared for the economic impact of dementia?

Agree strongly



Disagree strongly


16. Have you or has anyone you know ever suffered from clinical depression?

Yes, me

Yes, someone I know

No, no one I know

17. How was this episode or episodes of depression treated?

No treatment, suffered through it

No treatment, still suffering


Hospitalization and medication

Psychiatry/psychotherapy and medication



18. Do you agree or disagree Canada has an effective system for dealing with mental health issues among older Canadians?

Agree strongly



Disagree strongly


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




Green Party

Bloc Quebecois



20. Where do you live?


Nova Scotia


New Brunswick







21. What is your gender?



  [See Results]
Previous Issues/Archives
April 4th, 2014
March 21st, 2014
March 7th, 2014
February 21st, 2014
February 7th, 2014
January 24th, 2014
January 10th, 2013

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The village where people have dementia – and fun
Learn why the entire world is flocking to "Dementia Village" to study the most sucessful experiment in dementia care

How is society to look after the ever-growing number of people with dementia? A curiously uplifting care home near Amsterdam may have the answers...

I meet Jo Verhoeff and notice that she twinkles; there’s no other word for it. She bounces from her sofa beaming, and takes your hand. Welcome, she says. It’s nice here; you’ll like it. The people are friendly and there’s so much to do: shopping, cooking, bingo, the classical music club. Read more

How a little town in Belgium may show us how to care for the mentally ill
Wonderful town's legacy has infused locals with the determination to provide unique care

Once, there was a tall, elegant woman in her 70′s, who lived with a family in the small Flemish town of Geel in Belgium. Her name was Louise, she spoke four languages and liked to discuss the lives of princes. At night she would stand by her window and pick up messages from the sky. Read more

Decoding dementia: Knowing the cause can help you plan for the future
Dementia is a starting point, it’s not a diagnosis

Imagine you start noticing that you’re not thinking or behaving like you used to. You struggle to find the right word; it’s always on the tip of your tongue but doesn’t come out. You’re often looking for your keys. You aren’t as organized as you used to be. You aren’t the go go go girl you once were. You bring it up to family and friends, they may wave it off: “You’re tired, you’re doing too much, you’re aging, you’re …” You bring it up with your family doctor and are told it’s part of getting older. You’re somewhat relieved... Read more

Old like me? Why elderly care needs more risk…
Young health policy researcher checks herself into a long-term care facility to gain perspective

Risk. It’s a dirty word in the nursing home industry, and in the face of recent and high-profile incidents – like deadly fires, assaults on residents by other residents and allegations of abuse – governments and nursing homes are turning to extreme measures to try to reduce risk and calm public concerns. Read more

Use of antipsychotics soaring at Ontario nursing homes
Powerful, potentially lethal drugs are being used at alarming rates to control behaviour among dementia patients

Ontario nursing homes are drugging helpless seniors at an alarming rate with powerful antipsychotic drugs, despite warnings that the medications can kill elderly patients suffering from dementia. A Star investigation has found that some long-term care homes, often struggling with staffing shortages, are routinely doling out these risky drugs to calm and “restrain” wandering, agitated and sometimes aggressive patients. At more than 40 homes across the province, roughly half the residents are on the drugs. Read more

Mother with dementia ‘warehoused,’ daughter says
Dementia patient, 84, spent countless hours in hospital hallways strapped to a chair

The daughter of an 84-year-old Calgary dementia patient is speaking out about how her mother was “warehoused” in acute care hospitals for almost a year, because she couldn’t get long-term care in a public or private facility.

“It’s been horrific for her,” said Dallas Diamond, “No one should have to live like that in their final years, absolutely no one. Especially in this country.” Read more

The Middle-Aged Guide to Growing Up: Mind Matters
Boomers were expected to medicate their way out of trouble, or meditate? I forget which...

I’m a Boomer and I had my mid life crisis at 45, around the time Bill Clinton was being impeached for having his. As these things go, it wasn’t that drastic, I got fed up, pissed off my clients, quit drinking and quit my job. OK, it was pretty drastic, but I never looked back. Mental health is a popular topic now, and it has many advocates, but this wasn’t always the case, and certainly wasn’t the case for most Boomers. Read more

Ontario Seeks Public’s Help to Make Data Publicly Available
Let the government know what information is important to you!

Ontario government is engaging the public to help prioritize the release data, as part of Ontario’s Open Government initiative to become a more transparent and accessible government. Read more

What do CARP Members Think of the Fair Elections Act?
The CARP Poll Report

The vast majority of CARP members disapprove of the provisions of the Fair Elections Act when they are described to them (80%), and fully two thirds disapprove “strongly” (63%). Furthermore, a similarly overwhelming number of members say the Act will diminish democracy (79%), and, once again, fully two thirds say it will diminish democracy “a great deal” (62%). Read more

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