Newfoundland and Labrador's Liberals plan to make services for seniors a key part of their platform for the forthcoming election, with a pledge to create a cabinet post and an array of new services.
Speaking at a news conference at a Holyrood personal care home, Liberal Leader Yvonne Jones said seniors deserve to spend more time in their own homes, and that government is wasting money because too many seniors are stuck in expensive hospital beds and other institutions.
"We see substantial savings, as well, in certain areas," said Jones, who said the party will if elected earmark about two per cent of the government's budget for such programs.
The Liberals are backing a geriatric model that has been introduced in other jurisdictions, and which would provide compensation for family members to care for seniors if other caregivers cannot be found.
Jones said the plan is intended to help seniors live comfortably and with dignity, and close to their loved ones.
"We think the initial investments is worth it," Jones told reporters.
"We think that by giving people options, not only do they get a better quality of care in their latter years, but it becomes a level of care that we can all afford," she said.
Jones said there have long been gaps in the system, and that the governing Progressive Conservatives have failed to solve them after eight years.
Jones said the Liberals if elected will push for greater support for seniors to stay in their own homes, or to live in home-like settings as much as possible, rather than depend on larger institutions for care. She said the plan should also shorten waiting lists for long-term care facilities.
Among other things, the Liberals plan to create a minister for aging and seniors.