Media releases | March 05, 2019

EDMONTON - Friends of Medicare and Public Interest Alberta premiered a series of four videos to kick off their new campaign Alberta Seniors Deserve Better, which highlights the issues facing seniors in the continuing care system, and encourages Albertans to sign a petition to call on all of Alberta’s political parties to make strengthening seniors’ care a top priority in the 2019 provincial election.


“Albertans value public services, and they need to be strengthened, not cut” said Joel French, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta, “Our seniors deserve a robust public system that provides high quality care. Some politicians are promising tax cuts to large corporations and the wealthy, but our government should be focused on investing in proper care for Alberta’s seniors who have worked hard their entire lives to contribute to our province.”     


The two non-partisan advocacy organizations released the videos surrounded by seniors who volunteered to appear in the ads.


Noel Somerville, who appears in one of the ads and is the Vice Chair for the Seniors’ Task Force at Public interest Alberta, stressed the importance of creating an easier-to-navigate continuing care system. “There are so many barriers to families seeking proper care for their loved ones, including a complex system of referrals” he said. “We need to build a system that is easy to access.”


“Staff in the seniors’ care system are stretched incredibly thin. In some facilities, one staff person can be responsible for up to 30 residents,” said Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “Working conditions are care conditions. We need legislated staff-to-patient ratios to ensure quality care.”


“Furthermore, we need to take the profit motive out of seniors care,” she added, “Private health care providers are putting more and more stress on seniors and their families by piling on out-of-pocket costs for essentials.” Azocar continued, “Every dollar that goes into profit is one that’s taken away from quality care for seniors. Alberta seniors deserve better.”