Seniors Advocacy Matters

seniors-old-people

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, I used everything you gave me”

~Erma Bombeck~

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  • Act: Champion, press for change, act responsibly, engage
  • Defend: Stand Behind, promote the rights of others
  • Voice: Speak for the benefit of others
  • Oppose: Take a stand
  • Change: Influence decision makers, propose, challenge
  • Approach: An issue with patience and compassion
  • Think: Go deeper and Research
  • Educate: Contribute, teach others by showing them the way
  • Support: Advise, encourage, recommend, get involved[/message] [su_spacer]

There are many forms of advocacy where you can obtain background information, knowledge and self-education, all you have to do is care about making a difference. Whether it be related to Poverty, the Environment or Social Issues, we all have a voice which can be used to provide valuable insights. As we make a difference in one life, we also stand the chance to improve the lives of many others in our community.

“Nothing in life means anything unless someone cares, and the whole trick is to keep being that someone.”

~Robert Brault~

As Canadians it is in our nature to be big hearted people, but I believe when it comes to painful realities we can also be complacent.

Each day we watch the news, listen to the radio, or even read the newspapers to learn more about what is happening in our communities. Social issues affect us all at some point in our lives.

“We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.”

~Stevie Wonder~

Let us take a look at Seniors Care in the Province of BC. We have a growing population of seniors who deserve care. Whether it be family members doing the care, Government, Assisted living or Private Care facilities the cost associated with health care is rising exponentially. Supports need to be built and put in place that protect family members caring for their loved ones at home. Its starts by building and supporting connectedness not separateness in our communities.

What I have witnessed personally is that Care facilities are staffed at increasingly lower levels than ever before and yet their loads have increased. Appropriate training as well as repairs are often bypassed or take longer because of cut corners or lack of funding.

As noted by The Canadian Nurses Association

“The Facts are that Seniors over 85 years of age are the fastest growing age group in Canada. There are currently 645,000 seniors over 85 in Canada, and that is projected to reach 1.28 million by 2031. That will be a 98% increase over the next 20 years (Statistics Canada, 2010). Elder abuse continues to be a taboo that is mostly underestimated and ignored across the world. Evidence is accumulating, however, to indicate that elder abuse is an important public health and societal problem (World Health Organization [WHO], 2002). Prevalence rates or estimates exist only in some developed countries — ranging from 1% to 10% (WHO, 2002). It is a challenge to estimate the prevalence and incidence of elder abuse in Canada. This is due to many factors such as under-reporting, confusion about what constitutes elder abuse, and a general lack of awareness, among other factors. However, based on available Canadian data, it is estimated that between 4% and 10% of older adults in Canada experience some type of abuse (National Seniors Council, 2007)”

“In institutions, abuse is more likely to occur where care standards are low, staff are poorly trained or overworked, interactions between staff and residents are difficult, the physical environment is deficient, and where policies operate in the interests of the institution rather than of the patients/residents” (WHO, 2002).

Mistakes happen, sometimes with detrimental outcomes for both the patient and the facility if undue care and attention is provided. Education, health care, hospitals and all other essential services suffer and need our voice.

Many of our parents came from generations that did not have the modern conveniences we enjoy today. The least we can do for their sacrifices is take care of them in their time of need. TEACH by your example.

Please watch this touching video that puts it all into perspective:

THE WOODEN BOWL

Suzana Matkovic
Suzana Matkovic
SUZANA has a PhD from the School of Hard Knocks. With the guidance of a loving family, she aspired to the best job of Life: Motherhood. People that know her journey will understand how this beautiful and tragic chapter forged her resilience and tenacity to bring her passions to life by being part of the change. Upon graduation in 84, she moved into an extremely successful 30-year career. Nonetheless, she walked away from it in 2014, in order to pursue something more personally meaningful. A School of Life that enabled her to meet people of different nationalities, cultures, races, languages and outlooks, is what she sought. She is an avid advocate and volunteer motivated to help others reach their full potential by raising awareness of numerous social issues affecting many and establishing a legacy for change. Suzana’s training and experience have provided her with a unique foundation from which to produce communication that is Significant, Relevant and Actionable. Her knowledge in sales/business development and marketing started in the early 90’s where she received numerous awards for innovation, customer satisfaction and quality management. She has worked in all business categories: Local Government, Manufacturing and Distribution, Logistics and Lumber Export. Some of the more notable products and services were sold into the Environmental Energy Sector and building products that represented Structural, Civil, Electrical, Mechanical and Architectural Engineering. In addition to Marketing initiatives for various NGOs and causes near and dear to her heart. All this was accomplished by a high school graduate with determination, vision and passion. She attributes her success to many wonderful mentors throughout her personal and professional life and the inner strength God blessed her with.
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Lynn Forrester-Pitocco

Suzana, what a wonderful and heartfelt, but full of truth and reality article. As a grandmother who had not been allowed to be a part of my 4 grandchildren’s lives over the last year and a half, and knowing I had an influence on these little souls, I can only hope that my daughter and son in law do not reap what they sow. God Bless

Suzana Pekrul
Suzana Pekrul

Lynn, I am sorry for your children’s loss, I hope and pray that they see the error of their ways. I am very fortunate and blessed to have had many wonderful mentors in my life, my parents. being the first 2. I could never repay them for their sacrifice to give their children a wonderful and loving life and family. My father is in a care facility after a recent illness where we almost lost him twice. He’s still with us, thank goodness and I spend as much time as I can with him. Aside from that, I visibly see the other residents who have no one and it breaks my heart. What I can do is brighten up their day by giving them the gift of my time and attention. In life its the little things that matter and whenever we are presented with an opportunity to be kind, we benefit in many ways that remind us of our roots and our purpose in life. God bless you always and Thank you for touching my heart.

Larry Tyler

POWERFUL!!! Touching and very dear to my heart. Thank you do much Suzana for this very important article.

Suzana Matkovic
Suzana Matkovic

They sacrificed for us…..the least we can do is for them. Thank you Larry, I am glad it touched you. I lived it with my father and so I speak from experience of how important it is to advocate for your loved ones. Appreciate your feedback!

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