Seniors 101 Helpline
Where…..? How…..? Who….? Why….?
As time goes by there are so many questions that arise as we face the reality of growing older. The ever changing social, financial and health issues that confront us. It presents challenges for not just the individual seniors but also their family and friends.
Where do we go to get the answers to even the simplest questions?
What programs are in place to assist us?
Who can help?
It can be daunting, but help is out there.
Please email us with any questions you have using this link firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to answer them. The question and the answer will be posted on this page as a source of knowledge for others.
Click on the links below to read the articles or just scroll down.
Financial assistance for dental care.
Visual help needed to be able to use computer in Qualicum Beach.
Help needed for a lady with serious health & housing issues.
Find a professional reflexologist
Support groups for Tourette’s Syndrome
Is a senior considered to be 60 or 65?
Grants for installing access safety equipment in a house.
How to apply for Home Care from Island Health.
MSP Premium Assistance Program.
Q. Do you know of any dental care/government financial assistance, my partner is 70 and in need of dental surgery and he is not financially able to pay for this, quoted over $2500.00?
A. Unfortunately there is no such financial assistance for dental care, not just for seniors, but for anyone in Canada.
Dental care is one of the 2 glaring holes in our Canadian/Provincial medical plans across Canada, the other of course is the lack of coverage for prescription drugs. The absence of this coverage is so short sighted and they contribute greatly to the overall well being of Canadians and to the costs of our health services.
The cost of oral health maintenance and cost of prescription drugs is a lot cheaper, financially and health wise, than the cost of treating the chronic health conditions that result.
Q. My mother lives alone in Qualicum Beach, and is suffering from macular degeneration, which was just diagnosed yesterday. Already, her vision is impaired to the point she has difficulty reading her computer screen.
I’d like to hire a computer consultant to come to her home and advise her on setting her computer to a larger font and/or setting up a magnifying glass icon to let her enlarge specific parts of a screen
She currently uses an HP laptop computer using Windows, but I expect it could drive a much larger monitor. If a larger monitor is part of the solution, then I’d need the computer consultant to either: – source and install a larger monitor, or, specify an appropriate monitor, I’ll have it delivered to her, and then have the computer consultant install it.
Mum and I both think that with appropriate assistance, she can continue to live with independence in safety and dignity and we would really appreciate any information to allow her to deal with this.
A. Having read your email and the type of service you are looking for I recommend John Naylor Computer Services, Parksville, BC. Tel # 250-951-5684 web site http://johnnaylorcomputerservices.vpweb.ca I have used John to service and maintain my computer for 6 years and I trust him totally. He a a quiet caring man and ideal to deal with your mum.
Q. A senior lady in her 70’s with stage 3 cancer and mold ingestion is in need in North Saanich. She had a fire and flood. She went for a bone scan and it was discovered she has bone cancer in addition to arthritis of the spine.
She lives in a home with identified mold that she cannot afford to have removed. She has privately mentioned to me with the cost of her medical and other related expenses that she does know how she will ever afford to have this resolved. She was sleeping outside in the summer on her deck and now has the inner door/s taped and is inside. The sale of her home is currently being held up because of this. Her family do not have the means with which to help her.
I realize you may be unable to help but I need a good lead with which to help my friend. Anything you can tell me or find out for me will be very much appreciated.
Julie Flemming, Victoria.
A. Julie, I think you should immediately contact your local Provincial Community Care office to address this ladies health issues and living conditions. I also suggest you contact a real estate agent to explore all options regarding the sale of her property.
Q. I am worried about my mother, she has started going to the casino 2 or 3 times a week which is so unlike her. I asked why but she just ignored me. What should I do?
A. One important thing to remember is that gambling is a recreational activity that many seniors participate in. When we are concerned about the gambling of a loved one, it is important to keep the lines of communication open. One suggestion is to go with your mother to the casino and learn about the games she is playing and what she enjoys about going to the casino. As hard as it can be to understand, for many seniors, gambling is a fun activity and one they don’t want to part ways with. By supporting your mother, you can develop a solid understanding of what her gambling behaviour is. If you are feeling that your mother is unable to stop gambling, or is no longer gambling for fun, you may also benefit from connecting with the confidential counselling offered through the program. The counselling is not exclusive for those experiencing a gambling problem, rather, the counselling is available for those seeking support to help someone who is having a problem.
Below is a link to the BC Responsible and Problem Gambling website, where you can find information to connect with counselling services, or to learn more about the program in general. https://www.bcresponsiblegambling.ca
Q. I am hoping you can help me find a professional reflexologist, or suggest how I might locate one in the Parksville/Qualicum area?
Nicky Gardner, Parksville.
A. We have known Eve Wur for many years and have no reservations in recommending her. These are her qualifications contact information: –
Evie Wur, BA Hons., RCRT, CAHP
REFLEXOLOGY & WELLNESS
Registered Canadian Reflexology Therapist
Certified ARC Health Practitioner
Therapeutic Companion for Seniors Living with Dementia
Q. I am wondering if there is any local place or anywhere in Nanaimo or on Vancouver Island that supports individuals who have or support people with Tourette’s Syndrome?
Kim Stahl, Nanaimo.
A. There is a support group in Victoria. This best way to contact the help you are looking for is through this email address email@example.com. If someone didn’t have email they could get a message to them through their national office’s phone line: 1-800-361-3120.
They do have a face-to-face support group in Victoria for parents/caregivers of children with Tourette and its associated conditions. In addition they host family events several times a year, and they provide in-school / workplace in-services and support. They are also able to connect with people 1:1 either on the phone or in person to discuss how else they might be of service.
The national office hosts support groups for adults, parents, and youth in an on-line format, allowing people living in smaller communities access to peers from the comfort of their home via this link https://tourette.ca/support Contact national office at the above number for more information on these groups.
Q. Is a senior considered to be 60 or 65?
A. I don’t think that the ages 60 or 65 has any relevance to being a senior.
The relevance that those ages do have is that at 60 you have the option of receiving payments from the Canadian pension Plan if you have paid into it. At 65 you can start receiving your Old Age Supplement (pension).
Q. My husband walks with a cane now and does not like it, we have a two story house and the stairs are a big problem now. We have decided to have a Stair Lift installed because it is just a matter of time before he looses his balance and falls. Where can I find out about a grant to help us with this fairly large expense?
Angie McMahon, Bowser.
A. Hi Angie, I think this provincial home adaption program will be able to help you.
The BC Housing program (HAFI) Home Adaptations for Independence will provide financial assistance up tp $20,0000 to low-income seniors and low-income persons with disabilities to support accessibility modifications that will promote continued safe and independent living. The assistance is available to eligible homeowners and tenants.
Commonly Asked Questions:
Q. I live on my own and I just can’t do things the way I use to around my house. I’m frightened that I might fall or hurt myself. I don’t want to move , but I just can’t cope anymore. What can I do? I can’t afford to pay for help.
A. You need to apply for home care from Island Health which controls the provincial home care system here on the island.
Applying for community health care can be an act of frustration and futility. Like many other application processes it is not designed to be user friendly, but it can be done.
To begin with you must be totally honest with yourself as you your needs. It is not a time to be stoic, you have to accept that you need help and that there are some things that you can no longer do for yourself; and say so openly. There is no shame in admitting that you need help, we all do at some time or other.
You will have to contact your local community care office, talk to a case manager and make an appointment for her to visit you in your home. You should definitely have someone with you for the appointment; do not be on your own. Preferably the person with you, whether that be a family member or a friend, should have some experience with the system. This first meeting will be critical to the outcome. First impressions in this scenario are critical.
So, I repeat, have someone with you that knows and has worked in the system and don’t be hesitant about asking for help and acknowledging that you need help.
It is the squeaky wheel that gets the attention!!!
Click this link for Island Health Home and Community care contact information: – http://www.viha.ca/hcc/contacts
Q. My monthly income has just been reduced and I am having serious problems coping financially. I am now at the point where I just don’t know what to do. I have health issues and I now have to choose between prescription charges, rent and food. Do you know if I can get help to pay for my prescriptions?
A. Yes you can. What we pay for prescriptions is based on our tax return of 2 years ago. This of course may show that your income then is much larger then than it is now.
Fortunately there is a program in place to help you with this change of circumstances. It is called the “Regular Premium Assistance Program”. We recommend that here on the island you telephone them at 1-800-663-3100 and explain the position you are in. They will then be able to reassess you using your current finances and adjust your MSP premium , which in turn will reduce the amount you have to pay in future for your prescriptions.
For further information regarding the Premium Assistance Program click the link: – http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/health-drug-coverage/msp/bc-residents/premiums/regular-premium-assistance
Q. How can I find out what my pension will be when I retire?
A. There are many variables here. It depends not just what your Old Age Security payment will be but also whether you are entitled to any money from the Canadian Pension Plan or will you be entitled to the Guaranteed Income Supplement.
A good place to further your search is on the Home page of Seniors 101 and click on the “Canadian Government Benefit Finder” button, which is in the right hand column. Read your way down to section 11 and click on the “Benefit finder” link.
This will open a very simple form which will instantly tell you what payments you might be entitled to.
You should then contact a Service Canada Centre personally to pursue your inquiry.
This page is to assist seniors regarding the products and services that are available for them on Vancouver Island.
It definitely does not attempt to address specific health issues or any urgent crisis situations and should never be considered as such. All questions regarding such concerns must be addressed to the proper authorities.
Full disclaimer can be seen on “Our About Us” page.