PC leadership candidate Thomas Lukaszuk did not respond directly to our questions on seniors' care, but he did send us a statement on his overall outlook on seniors' care in Alberta:
We all want seniors to live in a safe, healthy, happy and comfortable environment. And now that seniors are living longer than ever before, we need to do better as a government in caring for those who built our province into the place it is today.
More residential spots are needed but there are other, smarter and simpler solutions. Government and community agencies need to work better together to allow seniors to remain in their own homes longer. We can make it easier for seniors to live comfortable, dignified lives in the homes and communities they raised their families in. Increasing accessibility to home care services will also help alleviate the current high demand for residential spaces.
I will look to non-governmental agencies to assist in the development of centres that are attentive to cultural differences and needs. Seniors and families of different ethnic origins should be able to practice their beliefs, live according to their traditions, and have access to meals that are closer to what they’ve eaten for the majority of their lives.
When they have significant health care needs, better supports could be provided. Many seniors need care and services in a home-like setting, not a hospital bed. And when palliative care is needed, if pain management is started earlier and support for families is provided, both the senior and the family can get through a difficult time more comfortably.
Also, it is abundantly obvious that we need to make sure that rural communities have adequate facilities because moving seniors from a rural setting to larger urban settings is not what is best for them and their loved ones. Keeping seniors close to their original home is integral to their quality of care. Family members can visit more often and are better able to participate in the care of their loved ones. We must also work to keep couples together - no one should have to lose the comfort and support of their partner because of cost-cutting concerns. Our seniors, in all homes, facilities and care settings across the province, deserve the absolute best care possible. This is what I will work towards if I am elected.
To follow up with Mr. Lukaszuk's campaign on his policy, and to ask him about the specific questions we raised on seniors' care, get in touch with his campaign using the following contact information: