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CARP NS Seniors' Mental Health Workshop and Annual General Meeting 

For CARP Members and their friends. Free - No Charge

..... Presenting Sponsor: Northwood InTouch.......
Workshops---1:30pm - 4:30 pm.
AGM and Speaker Presentation -- 7 pm - 9 pm
Guest Speaker - Dr Jeanne Ferguson, Geriatric Psychiatrist
To book your seat email anewvision@CARPnovascotia.ca

or phone 902- 495-8284 leave your name, phone # and number of persons coming with you at.

You will only receive a return call if the event is filled.

Bodies in Translation: Age and Creativity art exhibition
at Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery
by the MSVU Nova Scotia Centre on Aging

See video here

The purpose of the panel was to discuss, from different perspectives, how art and art exhibitions can support public awareness/discourse of the social and cultural contributions by older adults.

The panel includes:
Michael Fernandes – one of the artists whose work is in the exhibition
Bill VanGorder – CARP - A New Vision of Ageing
Elizabeth Haggart – NS Department of Seniors
Dr. Ardra Cole – MSVU Centre for Arts Informed Research and Teaching
The Moderator of the panel is Dr. Janice Keefe, Director, Nova Scotia Centre of Aging.
See YouTube video here:


Don’t Suffer From the Flu!!!  

      … What You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

    Seniors 65 and over with are at greater risk of hospitalization and death.

    According to the N.S. Dept. of Health and Wellness, “Every year, about 20,000 Canadians are hospitalized and 4000 die from complications of influenza.”

 Flu accounts for 70 per cent of total influenza-related hospitalizations and 90 per cent of total influenza-related deaths.  Influenza, also known as the flu, is an unpredictable and highly contagious viral infection of the nose, throat and lungs. Influenza viruses travel through air droplets when an infected individual coughs, sneezes or talks.

Learn how you can protect yourself and others this flu season.

Guest speaker:

Dr. Kathryn Slayter of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Dept. of Medicine, Dalhousie University. 

Topic:  The role of immunization as a simple way to promote healthy aging among older Canadians as part of a larger provincial senior’s strategy.

2 PM Wednesday Oct. 11, 2017

Rockingham United Church

12 Flamingo Dr., Halifax NS B3M 1S5

To register call 902-495-8284 or e-mail novascotia@carp.ca.  Leave us your name, phone number and number attending with you.  You will only receive a return message if the event is filled.

News Release from CARP Nova Scotia Chapter
Tuesday September 26th
Bill VanGorder, Past Chair and Senior Spokesperson
For immediate Release

CARP NS- Budget has same pitfalls and as the April version.

The NS Provincial Budget issued today contains some positive news for seniors but the downside is the no different than the April version.

CARP NS is extremely disappointed that no new money has been allocated for the long delayed Dementia program. In fact, there is no budget amount for the Dementia strategy at all!  Most of the promises to improve prevention, care and treatment of Alzheimer (and other forms of dementia) made 4 years ago are still unfulfilled. ( 9 of 11)  And the budgeted amount is not nearly enough to accomplish those goals. Especially the Physician's Tool Kit which was a cornerstone of the original plan.

CARP NS is also concerned that although some new money has been directed toward Mental Health concerns.  Experts tell us that Men over 65 have highest rate of suicide (Canada) the lethal potential of self-harm behaviour increases with age.  The small amount of money added to the mental health budget is only aimed at providing some more clinical support to current patients and does not target the huge issue with seniors' mental health.

On the plus side, low income seniors will benefit from the $5000 more income before taxes and the planned increased amount available for seniors' home repairs is much needed.

Many seniors will be pleased there will be no increase in the cost to older Nova Scotians for the Seniors' Pharmacare fees. This Spring budget added $3.7 million for more doctord to perform orthopaedic surgeries and today’s budget promises an additional $2.7 million to that plan – good news if, instead of just adding staff, it actually reduces wait times.  

And we are pleased to see the government is, in a minimum way, beginning to recognize the value of senior entrepreneurs by put a very small amount ($30,000) to begin to assist seniors who are or want to run their own business.

Perhaps we should be satisfied, if not a little surprised, that Election Budget from the spring was not cut back in this version.  There is still a long way to go to meet the real needs of seniors in Nova Scotia.


During the recent provincial election, CARP NS wrote to all the Party Leaders.

Among other recommendations, CARP NS wrote: “Timely essential health care is a right of every Nova Scotian including seniors,” says Ian MacDonald, Chair CARP Nova Scotia. Before, Nova Scotians cast their vote they should ask every candidate does their party agree that timely essential health care is a right of every Nova Scotian?

To date Mr. MacDonald is both surprised and disappointed by the failure of the leaders of Nova Scotia’s main political parties to affirm timely essential health care as a right of every Nova Scotian.

Here is the media release from May 23, 2017

On May 9 CARP Volunteer Chair Ian MacDonald in CAREP N.S. letter on wait times and CARP N.S. top priorities called for a “bold non-partisan coming together of party leaders to affirm that timely essential health care is a right of every Nova Scotian”.  
Therefore, if you and your party can say "Yes, we believe timely essential health care is a right of every Nova Scotian.” Your party along with your opponents will give Nova Scotians the confidence that whether in power or in opposition that you will come together in good faith to create a nonpartisan strategy.” Ian MacDonald, Chair CARP May 10, 2017 letter to the party leaders of the Liberal, Progressive Conservatives and New Democratic Parties of N.S.
To date Mr. MacDonald is both surprised and disappointed by the failure of the leaders of Nova Scotia’s main political parties to affirm timely essential health care as a right of every Nova Scotian.
“How can voters have confidence in parties to reform health care when the parties cannot declare that timely essential health care is a right of every Nova Scotian?” Ian MacDonald, Volunteer Chair of CARP NS.
Health reform is the first of CARP N.S.’s Top Priorities for Nova Scotia’s aging population.  
1. Health Care reform (Reducing surgical wait times to meet national benchmarks, increasing homecare funding and improving supports for caregivers) By 2020, funding formula currently applied to long term care should also be applied to home care. Collaborative care centres must be established across the Province so that seniors (and others) have local access to all health services.
We eagerly anticipate the long promised Long Term Care Strategy documents from the Department of Health.
Each of the 3 major party claims:
“Nova Scotians deserve health care that promotes access and offers the best possible care.” Stephen McNeil, Building on A Stronger Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Liberal Platform 2017
“A health care system that’s there when Nova Scotians need it.” Vision Action Baillie PC Nova Scotia 2017
“Nova Scotians deserve robust reliable health care that meets the diverse needs across generations.” Together we can do this N.S. NDP 2017 election platform.
Each of these parties has in the past decade been in power while Nova Scotia’s Health Care crisis continues to degrade despite increasing health care budgets. Every past governing party points to progress and every opposition party hoping to become the government point to their platforms as solutions yet Nova Scotians have heard it all before. What progress they have made in efficiencies has been helpful but obviously insufficient to meet the expectations and needs of Nova Scotians.
“Nova Scotians need its political parties to come together with healthcare providers, stakeholders and including patients to use and create evidence based strategy for health care. A strategy that can be used by the Department of Health and Wellness to ensure accountability and delivery of the right of every Nova Scotian to timely essential health care.” Ian MacDonald, Volunteer Chair of CARP N.S.
Declaring timely essential health care as a right places the needed urgency that is lacking in the parties’ claims. CARP’s position is that each major political party holds a vital piece of the puzzle of good strategic government. Each has had its turn and pushed its partisan agenda.  
“CARP NS hopes and believes that the party candidates and their leaders can rise above their partisan politics to seize a grander vision of working together to fix Health Care rather than individually trying to fix the blame. After all don’t we all believe that timely essential health care is a right of all Nova Scotians?” Ian MacDonald, Volunteer Chair CARP N.S.
CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to a ‘New Vision of Aging for Canada’ promoting social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. Our mandate is to promote and protect the interests, rights and quality of life for Canadians as we age.   Currently, we have eight thousand members in the province age forty-five years and over.
CARP NS Wins Round #1 in Seniors Pharmacare Battle

On January 15, 2016 CARP was surprised and concerned to find that provincial government announced changes to the Seniors' Pharmacare Program would negatively and severely punish many CARP members. To add to the problem, the letter sent out to many seniors was viewed by many of our members as “threatening and punitive”. The communications to seniors and the responses from the Pharmacare call centre were, in many seniors’ opinions very inadequate, curt and unhelpful.

Fortunately the province announced that the Pharmacare premiums for seniors will not increase on April 1, and the maximum premium payment will remain at the current rate of $424.00 a year per person. It was too big an increase, it didn't cover the right kind of people and it wasn't fair to couples, it wasn't fair to people who receive GIS.

We were very involved in the process that led to that decision. CARP Nova Scotia has received more phone calls, letters and emails on this issue than any other since our Chapter was created. CARP members were VERY upset.

The plan as to raise premiums on April 1, based on income rather than the current one-price-for-all model. How much a senior citizen would pay also depends on whether they are single or part of a couple.

When CARP NS had originally been contacted last fall about the changes to Seniors Pharmacare we had been told that, after 8 years of no increase in premiums it would be necessary to do so. We were told the increased costs were going up 4.4% to 7.6% . CARP NS responded that we could support small, incremental increases if the minimum income levels at which seniors paid no premiums were raised from the current $18,000 to $25,500. Based on that previous agreement, we were shocked by the Government’s actual plan.

In response, CARP NS made the following requests.

1. Do not double and triple the premiums for thousands of NS seniors. Instead, provide for a gradual 5 – 7% per year premium increase over a number of years to keep up with increased costs of program.

2. Allow more low income seniors to be premium free. Raise the income levels for those who do not have to pay a premium to $24,500/yr.

3. Lumping couples incomes together is unfair and does not reflect today’s economic realities of family life. Do not us a different formula to determine premiums for seniors living as a single as opposed to living as a couple.

4. Assure anyone legitimately receiving GIS is not paying a premium. If the Province has a difference of opinion on the validity of GIS recipients with the Federal Government. Don’t put seniors in the middle of the disagreement.

5. There is no current appeal process. Implement a formal appeals process for seniors who feel their payment level is unfair.

6. Improve the communications process for any changes. Consult with the CARP NS and other seniors groups re the communications plan. Improve the poor and inappropriate call centre responses.

7. In the past few months, Government discussions with CARP and other seniors groups have often been tele-conference and not printed material or notes have been provided to us. Provide better information for our feedback and give CARP NS time to analyze the policy before it is announced and implemented.

Conclusion…for now

Although the changes have been mostly cancelled, one change will remain. Low-income seniors will have their premiums reduced or eliminated. The province estimates 12,000 people who paid a Pharmacare premium in 2015 will not pay in 2016.

Seniors on a guaranteed income supplement will continue to be exempt from paying premiums and the co-payment will remain at 30 per cent per prescription to a maximum of $382 per year.

CARP Nova Scotia will now be working hard to make sure the government gets Seniors Pharmacare right. Seniors understand there must be some sort of increase, but it should be fair to everyone. CARP will help government do it right. Our view of this is that it is a hybrid government assistance/insurance program for which there has not been a change in the cost for eight years so there will need to be some pricing adjustments.

There has not been a timetable set for future meetings. We will keep their feet to the fire.

Silver Donald Cameron receives CARP Environment Stewardship Award

The 2015 CARP Annual General Meeting featured a talk by Silver Donald Cameron. Following his speech, he was presented with the CARP Environment Stewardship Award by Keith McMaster a member of the CARP Environment Committee in recognition of his significant contribution to a greener world. Bill VanGorder reiterated that we, as CARP members, can make a difference. One way is to write to politicians at various levels.
[left to right, Keith McMaster, Silver Donald Cameron, James Boyer, Environment Chair and Bill VanGorder, CARP NS Chair]

The suggestion was made that all candidates in the upcoming federal election be asked what they can do for the environment and for other issues important to CARP members.


Debate: Age Friendly Homes vs Long Term Care

Bill VanGorder of CARP NS interviewed by CBC's Tom Murphy.

Nordic Pole Walking benefits all

| instruction | Nordixx poles | order |


Nordic Pole Walking (NPW) is an excellent low-impact exercise that offers the highest benefits for health, wellness and fitness for seniors. Nordic Walking Poles enable you to incorporate over 90% of all your body muscles.
CARP NS has teamed up with industry-leader Nordixx Pole Walking Canada Inc to offer top-quality Nordic Walking Poles as well as free beginner instruction in Nordic Walking.

Not only do Nordixx Nordic Walking Poles benefit your health, but when you purchase a pair, they will benefit CARP NS, which will receive 15% from each sale. Funds are used by CARP NS to hold events for our members and the general public on a wide range of topics including health advocacy, financial security, the environment and living well.

Visit our Nordic Walking page for more details and to order Nordixx poles.

Tell us what you think...

CARP NS is occasionally asked by media outlets (such as CBC Radio, Global News or the Chronicle Herald) to provide them with the name of a senior who would be willing to talk about a variety of seniors issues. CARP and CARP NS never gives out names of its members to anyone. But if you would be willing to be approached by a media outlet for your opinion, please provide your name and email address here (CARP members only please).



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