FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Charlottetown, PE – (March 30, 2015) – NDP PEI Leader Mike Redmond, along with NDP candidates and members, released the party’s third plank in its election platform in Charlottetown today, a new PEI Seniors’ Independence Program modeled on the Veterans’ Independence Program of Veterans Affairs Canada.

“Taking the national Veterans’ Independence Program or VIP as a model, the simple addition of a basic housekeeping and grounds maintenance service to the current long term home care program will allow many more seniors needing care to remain in their homes indefinitely,” stated Redmond.

Redmond expanded on the cost savings made possible by providing seniors with the choice of the Seniors’ Independence Program.

“Long term beds cost between $30,000 and $40,000 annually to operate. The new Seniors’ Independence Program will help keep seniors in their homes for about 10-15% of the cost of an admission to a long term care bed. The average cost per senior would be $3,600. So we are talking one seventh of the cost of a long-term care bed,” added the NDP Leader.

Redmond offered the new Seniors’ Independence Program as a way to help make long-term care beds available to people who need them the most. Every year there are over 200 Islanders on the long-term care waiting list.

“Apart from giving seniors real choices and the savings involved, the demands for institutional care will go down. This will leave acute care beds more available for those in need in the general population. And it will also allow long term care institutions to offer more beds to those seniors and others in the community with cognitive disabilities who cannot be readily cared for in the community,” concluded Redmond.

An important resource to support the main foundations of this policy platform plank is the Continuing Care Research Project 2008 by Hollander, Corbett and Van der Valk.

Contact:

Mike Redmond

Leader, NDP PEI

902-388-7102

michael.redmond@ndppei.ca

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