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Helen's Story

In January 2014, I was admitted for a total hip replacement. The surgery was very successful. A few months before the surgery I had visited my GP because of nausea and vomiting, and the situation had not been resolved. A day after the surgery, I became very ill, with severe nausea, diarrhea and a high fever. An ultrasound showed that I had a severely infected gallbladder. A drain was installed, resulting in some improvement.

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Joni from Ontario's Story

I recently went through “the system” with my father. He was a proud, independent small businessman who worked hard every day of his life. Here is a glimpse at our first full day in an Ottawa nursing home, where he was sent on an emergency placement from a hospital. 

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Patricia's Story

Dental care should be part of our overall health care. I started to babysit at age 12, and I worked my summer holidays from the time I was 14. I worked steadily except for when my children were very young. Sometimes I was self-employed and at the end I was an employee. Through no fault of my own, I was wiped out financially by others three times so had to work until I was 70. I can get along on my pensions but that’s about it. In spite of having regular dental care over the years, I am now developing problems that I can’t afford to have fixed and the indignity of having to go around toothless is not something to look forward to and certainly is not a healthy way to live.

Penny from Ontario's Story

When I asked for help for my 96-year-old mother, the social worker assigned to us was very rude and unprofessional. My mom had been living on her own and had been managing with my daily help until it was no longer safe. The worker suggested I move in with her and send her to a physiatrist. I only received the respect and help my mom needed when there was a police incident. My mom was then placed in a full-care facility and passed away six weeks later. Our seniors need to be treated with respect and be safe. I was going to report my experience but because it was such a stressful time I did not. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.

Evelyn's Story

I am a senior on a limited income (OAS, GIS, CPP [Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement and Canada Pension Plan]) who has two chronic conditions requiring a special diet (diabetes and celiac disease). As a result, I spend most of my income after rent on food and food supplements. Harper’s government introduced a food credit for those on a gluten-free diet, but it is of no benefit to me or other low-income families who have no taxable income after basic non-refundable credits are taken. Moreover, it requires an excessive amount of bookkeeping to claim it. Eating a healthy diet is essential to keeping oneself healthy and not using medical services unnecessarily. Yet people like me are often forced to make compromises in our diets to pay our bills. I think this food credit needs some serious rethinking.

Sheila from Alberta's Story

My mom has dementia and is living in a nursing home. I’m her advocate. I’m there five times a week for at least two hours per visit plus I have a companion visit three times a week for two or three hours. Without all these visits I know her care would not be what it is. The level of care that our governments require nursing homes to provide for seniors is below what I would consider a minimum level of care. From there it is up to the nursing home provider to provide any other care.

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Carolyne from British Columbia's Story

The high cost of not only provincial health care but drugs is filling our final days with so much stress that I’m beginning to think it’s not worth the effort to stay alive. I have worked my whole life and am collecting CPP and OAS [Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security] but in British Columbia I still have to pay for part of my provincial medical care for both myself and my spouse. I have end-stage COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease]. Yes, I know that smoking for many years caused this disease, but I cannot change that now. 

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Murray's Story

Health care isn’t the only problem.  For my pension, last year I got a 0.78% increase on CPP [Canada Pension Plan].  Now what is the inflation rate? I seem to be going downhill so much. The elderly have done the hardest work to build the Canada we know today and this is our thanks? Can anyone live here on $22,000 a year? No. No. No.

Mark's Story

In April 2014 I was visiting my mom in Medicine Hat, Alberta. We went for coffee and on the way back to her place she started acting “odd.” By the time we got to her home she had a massive headache. I immediately drove to the hospital. I practically had to carry her into the emergency room. Needless to say, it was packed. After half an hour they got Mom into a room and immediately did a CT scan. They found she had a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Two hours later she was on a flight to a hospital in Calgary. That is how our year-long nightmare began.

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