CARP

December 21, 2014




Eliminate mandatory RRIF withdrawals that put Canadians at risk of outliving their money
CARP Publishes New Policy Paper


CARP is calling on the federal finance minister to eliminate mandatory RRIF withdrawals which force seniors to draw down and pay tax on their retirement savings in increasing percentages until age 91 when their RRIF would be close to empty. People are left with much reduced funds just when they have the greatest needs and given today’s increased longevity, the RRIF rules put ever more people at risk of outliving their savings. Read more

CARP Submits new Paper to Advisory Panel on Health Innovation
CARP calling for a healthcare reform paradigm-shift


CARP’s submission points out that they system is designed around the priorities of the service providers rather than the people it is supposed to serve, which has led to a fragmented and inefficient agglomeration of silos within silos. While many Canadians will welcome the mandate of the Advisory Panel to seek improvements in the quality and accessibility of care, CARP’s submission states that Canadians do not want more pilot projects that add more elements, complexity and costs to the current $215 billion healthcare spending with limited sustained impact. Read more

Healthcare reform to address needs of Canadians not service providers
CARP Healthcare Innovation Submission's Press Release


CARP is calling for a full system re-design of the healthcare system to provide a comprehensive 360 degrees of care and that treats Canadians as “healthcare citizens” – with the right to expect timely and appropriate care and equal treatment regardless of age, income and postal code. Read more





Raising Alert about Unrelated Charges and Fraud
Everything you need to know about an increasingly common and unusually convincing new scam


This week witnessed yet another case of fraud targeting seniors when a woman in BC found that a fraudulent 1-800 scheme has been withdrawing money from her account for several years. Following the release of the Go Public segment on CBC News, CARP Advocacy went on CBC Radio to answer questions that listeners across Canada had on the topic. Read more

Acting Out
The Middle-Aged Guide to Growing Up


I’m a Boomer, and on the day I was born, Song of Saskatchewan, starring Allan Ladd and Shelly Winters, was playing at Loew’s Cinema in Toronto. That night, famed tenor Jussi Bjorling missed his concert at Massey Hall (probably, in fact almost certainly, because he was too drunk to sing). These were the Canadian theatrical highlights in Toronto when Boomers were being born. Among the many jobs and careers I’ve pursued, acting is the one that has lasted the longest. I got my union card in 1982, more than 30 years ago, and I’ve kept it up ever since, even during the 90s and 00s, when I was far away from the biz in corporate purgatory. Read more

Financial Literacy Workshops
Resources and Recommended Reading


CARP recognizes that financial literacy is an essential tool in preparing individuals for transitions and surprises in life, as it contributes to an understanding of one’s financial pursuits and enhances retirement preparedness. Financial literacy also decreases the possibility of being persuaded by fraudulent schemes, which can be very costly as indicated by Canadian Anti-fraud Centre that reported an incurred loss of just over $16 million dollars in 2012. Read more

The Changing Face of End of Life Care
Palliative care doctor writes of the lessons he has learned along the way


A while ago I finished two weeks working on the palliative care service at St. Michael’s Hospital. As usual it was a moving, stressful, rewarding, frustrating, exhilarating, humbling, human experience. Working clinically provides me with a reality check for the other parts of my professional life which focus mostly on health services research and health care policy. Read more

Making fun of spellcheck and other modern phenomena
CAROL’S CORNER


Eye wood bee allot happier with Spellcheck if their whirr sum weigh two no fur sure that eye half knot maid a mistake wen eye right. Too bee honest, it did sea too mistakes inn the above: “maid” and “wen”, and both “bee” and “inn” in this sentence. Of course, this is not entirely Spellcheck’s fault, as the English language is noted for what some might call annoying inconsistency, and others glory in the abundance of choices in a language which has roots in a plethora of other tongues, starting with Celtic (spoken by Angles and Saxons, who ventured forth from Denmark and Northern Germany). They spoke what we now call Old English, and which would be pretty much beyond our capabilities to understand... Read more

Everything you ever wanted to know about travel insurance but were afraid to ask…
Carol IN YOUR Corner


Readers of CARPACTIONOnLine probably need no reminders that buying travel insurance is an absolute ‘must’ before leaving the wintry weather for warm and welcoming destinations. Nevertheless, we still hear horror stories of travellers who have had claims denied for ailments or mishaps that occurred during their southern sojourns. The best advice we can give is to take lots of time to a) research all offerings and b) make sure every question is answered accurately. Not all policies are created equal... Read more

CARP's plan of action against seniors’ poverty, income inequality, unfair RRIF rules and in support of better pensions and job stability
These issues require immediate attention at upcoming F/T/P finance ministers’ meeting


CARP calls on finance ministers to fight seniors’ poverty with increased income supports, relaxed GIS rules and specific measures to mitigate the impact of the OAS changes. To help people help themselves, CARP is calling for help for older workers and elimination of mandatory RRIF withdrawals which put retirees at risk of outliving their savings. The F/T/P finance ministers are slated to meet in mid December, possibly to discuss ways to spend the projected surplus. However, CARP polling suggests that older Canadians, at least, do not share this sense of optimism. Read more

Problems with the Survey or a Story Link?

If you experience difficulty while filling out the survey or cannot get the full story, please click here and try again

CARP Health Planning Poll
1. What must happen to the health care system in Canada to allow it to move sustainably into the future?

Fundamental redesign of the way health care is delivered

Improvements to many aspects of the existing health care system

Minor changes to the health care system

NO CHANGE REQUIRED

OTHER/DON’T KNOW

2. Which one aspect of the health care system in Canada is most in need of improvement?

Constantly rising costs of health care

Impersonal attitude of health care system

Difficulty navigating health care system

Reducing wait times for surgery or treatment

Improving palliative and end-of-life care

System is designed around procedures, not the patient

Delivery/access to chronic care

Less expensive prescription drugs/national pharmacare

NO IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED

OTHER/DON’T KNOW

3. CARP has called for a change in the way health care is delivered in Canada, placing a greater emphasis on patient-centred preventive and chronic care delivered at home or in the community. Do you approve or disapprove of this idea?

Approve strongly

Approve

Disapprove

Disapprove strongly

DON’T KNOW

4. Do you agree or disagree that older Canadians and their families find the health care system is difficult to navigate?

Agree strongly

Agree

Disagree

Disagree strongly

DON’T KNOW

5. Do you agree or disagree that older Canadians and their families find the health care system doesn’t meet their chronic and preventive care needs?

Agree strongly

Agree

Disagree

Disagree strongly

DON’T KNOW

6. The preamble to the Canada Health Act states that “continued access to quality health care without financial or other barriers will be critical to maintaining and improving the health and well-being of Canadians”. Do you agree or disagree the current health system meets these principles?

Agree strongly

Agree

Disagree

Disagree strongly

DON’T KNOW

7. How important is it for the health care system in Canada to be designed to account for, and minimize socioeconomic inequalities in health care delivery?

Extremely important

Very important

Somewhat important

Not very important

Not at all important

DON’T KNOW

8. Which of the following socioeconomic factors is the most important for the health care system to address?

Poverty/low income families/seniors/children

Social integration and engagement in the community

Ability of seniors/less able to live independently

Stigma around disease/mental health

Reduction of harmful lifestyle behaviours

HEALTH CARE SYSTEM HAS NO SOCIOECONOMIC ROLE

OTHER/DON’T KNOW

9. How important is it for the health care system in Canada to prevent illness and poor health?

Extremely important

Very important

Somewhat important

Not very important

Not at all important

DON’T KNOW

10. Which of the following factors affecting preventive care is most important for the health care system to deal with?

More education on disease/poor health prevention/healthy lifestyles

Intervention in substandard environments/assisted living

Promotion of and education on vaccination

House calls/home-based care for patients with chronic conditions

HEALTH CARE SYTEM HAS NO ROLE IN DISEASE PREVENTION

OTHER/DON’T KNOW

11. How important is it for the health care system in Canada to provides citizens with medical care at the time and in the place it’s needed?

Extremely important

Very important

Somewhat important

Not very important

Not at all important

DON’T KNOW

12. Which of the following factors affecting timely care in the right place is most important for the health care system to address?

Reducing wait times for procedures/treatment

Specialized training for a wider range of medical personnel

Home-based care

Doctors/nurse practitioners making housecalls

Community-based care/more community clinics

System overhaul to bridge gaps and reduce waste

NO IMPROVEMENTS NECCESARY

OTHER/DON’T KNOW

13. How important is it for the health care system in Canada to offer caregiver and family support

Extremely important

Very important

Somewhat important

Not very important

Not at all important

DON’T KNOW

14. Which of the following factors affecting caregiver and family support is most important for the health care system to address?

Offering financial support to unpaid caregivers

Training in basic care and medical support for caregivers

Caregiver respite/relief

Job protection for those who must take time off for caregiving

Improvement in social contract/working

conditions of personal care workers

HEALTH CARE SYSTEM HAS NO ROLE IN CAREGIVER SUPPORT

OTHER/DON’T KNOW

15. How important is it for the health care system in Canada to offer supportive and responsive end-of-life care?

Extremely important

Very important

Somewhat important

Not very important

Not at all important

DON’T KNOW

16. Which of the following factors affecting end-of-life care is it most important for the health care system to address?

Legislating the right to palliative care

Inculcating an attitude of respect in care workers/medical personnel

Creating awareness/educating on end-of-life options

Providing easy, universal access to palliative care

Emphasizing care choices available to those at the end of their lives

HEALTH CARE SYSTEM HAS NO ROLE IN END-OF-LIFE CHOICES

OTHER/DON’T KNOW

17. Do you agree or disagree the entire hospital and clinic-based medical establishment will have to change routines, interact more with other disciplines, give up control of much of its funding and change the way medical care has traditionally been delivered in order to allow the kind of transformational change CARP recommends for the health care system in Canada?

Agree strongly

Agree

Disagree

Disagree strongly

DON’T KNOW

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

Conservative

Liberal

NDP

Green Party

Bloc Quebecois

OTHER

UNDECIDED

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

Conservative

Liberal

NDP

Green Party

Bloc Quebecois

OTHER

20. Where do you live?

Newfoundland

Nova Scotia

PEI

New Brunswick

Quebec

Ontario

Manitoba

Saskatchewan

Alberta

BC/Territories

21. What is your gender?

Male

Female

  [See Results]
Previous Issues/Archives
November 27th, 2014
November 10th, 2014
October 17th, 2014
September 6th, 2014
September 23rd, 2014
September 11th, 2014
August 28th, 2014

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1-800 charges linked to company accused of targeting seniors
Scams like this one are much more common than you might suspect


A B.C. senior has decided to Go Public after discovering years of suspicious debits on her bank statements. Like a lot of Canadian seniors, Mary Bryce, 91, and her husband, Ron, 94, each had their own roles. She took care of the family home, while he took care of the finances. That is, until he moved into a full-time care facility outside Vancouver last year. So after 65 years of marriage, Bryce found herself dealing with bank accounts for the first time. Family friend Don Christie offered to help. Christie said one debit in particular caught his eye — a charge for $19.90 from ITD 1-800-533-5964. The mysterious fee had been coming out of the bank account every month for four years. Read more

600,000 seniors in Canada live in poverty, including more than 1 in 4 single seniors
New Statistics Canada report reveals that seniors' poverty is much more widespread than was previously believed


A report released this week from Statistics Canada shows that previous measures (LICO) used to determine low-income in Canada have under estimated the number of Canadians living in poverty and struggling with income insecurity. Using the new metric (LIM), the StatsCan report shows that the poverty rate is double the previous estimate – increasing from approximately 6% using the LICO to 12% using the LIM. In real terms, using the new measure there are 600,000 seniors living in poverty now, compared to the previous estimate of 300,000. Read more

Susan Eng interviewed by Jerry Agar for Straight Talk


Susan Eng interview on Straight Talk with Jerry Agar (December 9), discussing the issue of a retirement crisis in Canada as 300,000 Canadian seniors live in poverty while two thirds of the population lack a workplace pension plan. Susan expresses her support for the Canadian Pension Plan and its investment capacity, stability and retirement income results, and says that more emphasis should be placed on contribution pension plans rather than programs that are funded through taxation such as OAS and GIS. Read more

Advocate urges change to RRIF withdrawal rules
Great coverage of CARP's recently released policy position


Canadian stock markets have been taking a beating lately, and so are the retirement savings of some seniors. The advocacy group CARP, previously known as the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, says the federal government should be paying closer attention to the plight of seniors who may be facing the prospect of outliving their savings. For that reason, says Susan Eng, CARP’s vice-president for advocacy, Ottawa is being asked to eliminate mandatory withdrawals from registered retirement income funds. Read more

Under-staffing at nursing homes leading to poor care
New Study


Nursing home care is substandard due to understaffing — and overworked and undertrained workers, say unions. A health coalition and a seniors’ advocacy group have similar views on long-term care facilities. Kevin Tyrrell, regional vice-president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, and public support worker Dorothy Winterburn came to Hamilton Wednesday to present the report “Long-term Care in Ontario: Fostering Systemic Neglect.” The report summarizes a focus group study of personal support workers (PSWs) by the union council and the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Read more

Susan Eng on Goldhawk Fights Back for You
Extended audio interview about the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan


Susan Eng, Vice-President of Advocacy at CARP, describes new legislation to establish the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan by 2017 on Goldhawk Fights Back for You on December 8, 2014. Read more





CARP Financial Issues Poll Report
Members see income splitting and the Child Care Tax Benefit increase as election ploys, indicative of an early writ


Most members think the promised budget surplus should be used to pay the national debt, while many think it should not be spent at all, but saved for adverse economic cycles. Other priorities are income supports and pharmacare. They agree the surplus, if it must be spent, should be spent in one grand plan that helps everyone, rather than as a series of targeted tax breaks. Read more




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