Jean Crowder hosting seniors’ roundtable in Ladysmith

Nanaimo-Cowichan NDP MP Jean Crowder is hosting a seniors' roundtable Feb. 24 in Ladysmith.

NDP MP Jean Crowder

NDP MP Jean Crowder

Aging: everyone is doing it. And we all have to prepare for the increase in the seniors population that is fast approaching.

According to BC Stats, Ladysmith and area had 4,083 people aged 65 and older in 2010, or nearly 22 per cent of the total population.

By 2020, that percentage will increase to just under 30 per cent.

What does that mean for our area?

How can we prepare now for an aging population and the challenges and opportunities that will bring?

Patricia Edge, a long-time seniors’ advocate and activist in Ladysmith, sits on the National Seniors Council. The council recently presented a report that looked at intergenerational relations within society.

They found that inaccurate perceptions about aging can have a significantly negative effect on public planning and policy, especially in the provision and delivery of community services.

New Democrats recognize the need for a comprehensive plan to adjust to the demographic shift we are facing and to ensure the seniors’ population remains healthy and able to participate in society.

That’s why I have decided to host a series of seniors’ roundtables in the riding to hear from constituents on which issues and priorities they see as best preparing our community and nation for the increase in the seniors’ population.

The roundtable in Ladysmith will be held Fri., Feb. 24 from 3-5 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 171 at 22 High St.

Light refreshments will be provided.

My office will be contacting local seniors’ organizations to confirm their participation in the next few weeks.

The idea of this roundtable is to bring together health professionals, community care providers, local advocates, family caregivers and seniors themselves to discuss issues and priorities for seniors today.

This is a non-partisan event, and people of all political persuasions who have an interest in seniors’ issues are encouraged to attend.

Issues to be discussed include seniors’ health care, affordable and appropriate housing, pension security, seniors’ poverty, elder abuse and other priorities as identified.

Please feel free to contact my office at 1-866-609-9998 if you have any questions or if you would like to know where and when the other seniors’ forums are going to be held.

Or check out my website.