Brad Wall mulls program to support saving for old age care
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says he is toying with the concept of a government program that would assist people to save money for long-term care needs in the future.
The idea of such special savings plan is considered timely considering that the so-called baby boom generation is entering its senior years.
Wall's government has already created a special fund, with $14 million in it, to shore up current deficiencies noted in long-term care homes throughout the province.
In an interview with CBC News, Wall raised the idea of helping citizens save for their own future care.
"Is there something government could do that would actually help facilitate individuals to plan for either their parents or themselves going into long-term care from a financial resources basis?" Wall posited.
He noted the issue needs to be addressed now, so the province is prepared.
"The baby boomers are getting older and they're all heading for long-term care and there isn't a government that has a money tree big enough, if we're just going to hire staff and open beds," Wall said.
According to the 2011 census, Saskatchewan has 153,705 citizens aged 65 and older. That is about 14 per cent of the total population.
Census numbers also show that Saskatchewan's senior population is growing but at a slower rate compared to other age groups.
Because of that, according to Statistics Canada, compared to the 2006 Census, Saskatchewan no longer ranks first in the county for the percentage of population aged 65 and over. The Maritimes, Quebec and British Columbia all had a higher percentage of seniors than Saskatchewan in 2011.
With files from CBC's Stefani Langenegger