CARP Nova Scotia 2019-2020 Priorities

CARP Nova Scotia's top priorities within, but not limited to, are:

1. Health Care Reform:

CARP N.S. believes that timely essential health care is a right of every Nova Scotian therefore:

a. The Dementia Strategy started in 2015 has continued to be a deep disappointment as it is now in its 4th year yet has failed to meet many of its 3 year objectives;

b. The Continuing Care Strategy was not available to be incorporated into the 2017 Shift Action Plan on Aging and is not yet available. The government must act on the recommendations. The almost doubling of N.S.’s over 65 population requires investment as well as systems to ensure best practices in long term care.

c. The Right to Basic Health Care. We will continue to monitor the delivery of basic health services including but not limited to family doctor shortages, community care centres and walk-in clinics.

d. Pharmacare – CARP urges full consultation with the Group of IX Seniors Advisory Council to the Provincial Government on the Provinces support of a National Pharmacare program as well as the on-going status of the existing N.S. Pharmacare program.

e. Publicly funded vaccination for Aging Nova Scotians:

  • High Dose Flu Vaccination to be expanded from Long Term Care residents to the general Nova Scotian population of seniors 65+ whose doctor diagnoses and rates them appropriately on the Frailty Scale.
  • Shingles vaccination. For all Nova Scotian’s 65+
  • Diabetes medication appropriate for seniors that is now not covered when their age determines they require different drugs.

f. Newer Diabetes drugs for seniors mean less hypoglycemia (causes dizziness and falls among other things) and weight gain than Insulin. Yet, in NS, although 1 in 3 seniors meet the Frailty criteria they do not have access to these needed medications. New oral anti-diabetic medications are similar in costs to insulin and can decrease the risk of CV death by as much as 1/3. CARP in partnership with Diabetes Canada and the Atlantic Cardiovascular Society is frustrated that Nova Scotia has the most restricted access to these Diabetes drugs in Canada.

g. CARP is also concerned about a variety of issues when it comes to lung health for seniors such COPD, lung cancer, flu vaccination and access to a respirologists.

h. Lung Cancer requires better early detection with a screening program that targets high risk Nova Scotians and access to new more effective medications.

2. Financial Security:

a. Income security begins with protection and indexing of OAS, CPP, and G.I.S. an N.S. must add its political weight to ensuring the Federal systems are funded. On the provincial level low income N.S. seniors need provincial assistance to supplement gaps between the federal income support programs and low-income thresholds.

b. Pension Super-Priority Nova Scotia should advocate and legislate the protection of N.S. private pensioners to have “super-priority” should the company entrusted with their pensions go bankrupt.

c. Review Nova Scotia’s Small Investor Protection for seniors.

d. Senior Entrepreneurism is an opportunity to meet both the needs of seniors and the provincial economy. The Shift document must quantifying seniors’ entrepreneurism goals into measurable means, programs and timelines.

e. Age Friendly Workplaces are likewise needed to meet the needs of an aging work force as well as to mitigate workforce shrinkage that will erode the tax base.

f. Volunteerism and Social Enterprises need the support and encouragement so that the voices of volunteers are heard by the government.

3. Aging-in-Place and Age Friendly Communities

Creating Age Friendly Communities is necessary to meet and leverage the challenging opportunity represented by N.S.’s aging population by:

a. Expand and Accelerate Funding and Policies That Impact Senior Housing. As part of the Aging-In-Place Shift goals government needs to expand and accelerate funding and policies that impact senior housing in their own their

homes, apartments or public housing. This includes renovations, affordability and accessibility to needed services. This will help create safe care settings for Aging-in-Place. Age Friendly Communities support Collaborative Care and create awareness for Nova Scotia’s new Accessibility Act.

b. Rural Transportation strategy to reach essential services

c. Community Planning including centers for social engagement, fitness and ease of access.

4. The Right to a Healthy Environment

Clean, safe, healthy, and sustainable environment. Our latest success stories include the unanimous adoption by City Council of a Halifax Green Network Plan which separates, through legislation, the areas for development and the areas that need protection within HRM.

a. CARP NS has successfully encouraged the city of Halifax to purchase 250 Acres of green space for the proposed Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park. The Province must continue to support and assist in making this park a reality.

b. The elephant in the room is climate change. Climate change will be one of the number one issues that will be raised by community groups across Canada as we approach the next Election.

Healthy Environment