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EDITORIAL – City’s $25,000 study is a slap in the face to our seniors

(Image: Pixabay.com)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

IT’S NOT EASY getting old; ask any senior.

The City of Kamloops wants to find out what’s needed to make life better for the older generation so it will commission a $25,000 study — courtesy of a provincial grant — to find out.

It will probably come back with a report that says seniors need more housing, better access to health care, and somewhere to get together.

But if it concludes that the answer to housing is to build more long-term care facilities, it will be a failure. COVID has proven that simply warehousing seniors doesn’t work; there needs to be a total rethinking of how they’re sheltered.

And if it says the answer to healthcare is cheaper drugs and more doctors, without explaining how to achieve that, it will fail again.

As for recreation, if the report recommends building a place where seniors can sit around and play cards, it will fail yet again. They need active recreation. Not every senior can run or swim in the 55-plus Games but many can, or at least be much more than couch potatoes.

And they need opportunities to continue working if they want to. A study released in the past few days shows that people who retire to a sedentary lifestyle die sooner than those who keep working.

What seniors need is ease of transportation when the inevitable day comes to give up their driver’s licences. That’s the day they lose the most important thing they have — their independence.

That includes keeping their own homes and having ways to get where they need to go.

Even more than that, though, seniors need something no study can give them — respect. They aren’t excess baggage. They aren’t an expense to be tolerated. They aren’t people to be disregarded or belittled.

Sadly, the paltry $25,000 designated for this study barely buys an executive summary these days, and once again shows how little we value our seniors.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (9122 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL – City’s $25,000 study is a slap in the face to our seniors

  1. Tony Brumell // September 9, 2022 at 4:34 AM // Reply

    I know what the city could do . They could wipe the seniours out by allowing the construction of monster homes with west facing walls 30 ft high and 60 ft long. This will allow high heat concentration in front yards during heat dome events . (44 degrees reached in July ) It may under certain conditions stop the circulation of air flow that used to keep the area of Juniper cool enough to breathe. BUT !! of course the city is “looking after ” it’s seniours so they might live through it. On the other hand ??? Gee ! I forgot to mention “the city has already done this. COME HAVE A LOOK.

  2. Very many off-springs chose a path of selfish hedonism and their aging parents are left on their own. Selfish hedonism, in the end, is perhaps central to the current demise of our supposedly civil, democratic, free-er society. I concur a $ 25,000 study by the City of Kamloops is, summarizing it, a joke.
    Do we really need a study to find out what has been know for generations?

  3. GInny Ratsoy // September 8, 2022 at 6:34 AM // Reply

    Thanks, Mel, for bringing this study to our attention. I heartily agree with your suggestions, with home care ( assisting senior to age in place) being perhaps the most significant. I would add a focus on later-life learning. I assume City officials involved in the study will read Globe and Mail health reporter Andre Picard’s Neglected No More and U of C Professor Emerita (Sociology) Gillian Ranson’s Front-Wave Boomers to get the national context, too. And, of course, meaningful consultation with the group under study– which has a great deal to contribute to Kamloops, given we are better educated, healthier, and more active than ever before — will be key.

  4. Seniors are known as “elders” in other cultures. They can be a resource for wisdom. Many young kids today might not know their grandparents or, at least, both sets of grandparents.
    Our society is fractured through the loss of the family unit. Could it be that what we see as social ills are at least in part to blame for that very reason?
    Warehousing seniors to spend their last years in isolation and loneliness has not done society a favour.

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