Seniors deserve the best

Dear Editor:

In honor of Seniors Week in Alberta, June 6 to 12, I would like to personally thank all seniors for their years of dedication in making Alberta and Canada the best province and country to live in. You are the foundation and builders of this great province. Because of all your hard work and dedication, we as a society owe you the respect and dignity you so rightly deserve.

A class-action lawsuit launched on behalf of thousands of Alberta seniors by Elder Advocates of Alberta Society and the son of a former nursing home resident will proceed. The Supreme Court of Canada announced that this lawsuit can proceed. This case resulted from a provincial government decision that saw fees increase substantially for residents of nursing homes and auxiliary hospitals on Aug. 1, 2003.

In reference to the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act (Bill 24), this is unjust legislation that disregards citizenship rights and violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The proclamation of this act opens the floodgates of the financial abuse of thousands of Alberta citizens and human rights abuses on an unprecedented scale.

This legislation (Bill 24) is designed to disarm seniors of their right to protect themselves and their property. There is no guarantee of right to counsel. There are no standardized guidelines or protocol to regulate competency assessments. In Alberta, the rights and final wishes of the maker of a personal directive or power of attorney are not protected by legislation and can be easily overturned by the courts.

It is time for legislators to legislate rights and protection for seniors. I ask that you call or write your MLA. Tell them that this unjust legislation is offensive and is a human rights violation. There is also a petition available that will be presented to Legislature by the Elder Advocates of Alberta society www.elderadvocates.ca or phone 780-432-5065

Please feel free to contact me at: voiceforseniors@gmail.com

Thank you seniors for all you have done and all you are doing. Your voice matters — let it be heard.

James Nakoneshny

Seniors Advocate – Voice for Seniors