British Columbia

B.C. seniors have lowest financial support in Canada, says advocate

A report finds B.C. provides the least amount of support among provinces and territories for things like home support, eye exams, hearing aids and monthly supplements.

Report recommends indexing the seniors supplement to inflation and revising shelter and renter's aid

A number of old people's hands are wrists are visible near arm rests and walkers.
A report from the office of the provincial seniors' advocate says B.C. ranks last in the country in providing key financial support for seniors. (Jaison Empson/CBC)

Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie says British Columbia ranks last among Canada's provinces and territories in providing key financial support for seniors.

Mackenzie says a report released by her office finds the province provides the lowest support for seniors in nine areas, including home support, eye exams, hearing aids and monthly supplements.

The report outlining the financial struggles facing B.C. seniors makes 10 recommendations, including indexing the seniors supplement to inflation and redesigning the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters program to reflect rental realities.

Mackenzie says the government should also provide annual bus passes and transportation services for seniors with accessibility issues. 

The B.C. government was not immediately available for comment on the findings.

Mackenzie's report says 45 per cent of B.C.'s one million seniors are living on income equivalent to less than the minimum wage and 25 per cent live on less than $21,000 annually.

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