SMART 55: BCOAPO Convention informative and productive

Five delegates from our local OAPO branch attended the BCOAPO Convention.

Pat Cassidy

Smart 55

In June, five delegates from our local Old Age Pensioners Organization (OAPO) branch attended the BCOAPO Convention held at Agassiz.

At the convention there were workshops, as well as guest speakers. I shall attempt to share some of the information they brought back.

One of the speakers was Isobel Mackenzie, the Senior Advocate.

Our health system likes to blame seniors for draining the system. Not so.

Here are some facts: there are 850,000 people over 65 in B.C. and the number is increasing. But the picture is not all doom and gloom as portrayed.

Seventy-five per cent of people 85 and over live independently, 10 per cent are in assisted living, 15 per cent live in residential care.

Home care users is only 15 per cent.

Another fact I would like to point out — we were not born seniors. Most of us worked from graduation age 17 to retirement, paying our share of taxes and helping the economy.

Some seniors have more knowledge and experience than the young MLAs and MPs running the government.

Of course there are some seniors, due to circumstances beyond their control, that need government assistance.

She touched on subjects like housing issues, caregiver issues, home support issues, residential care and transportation.

It will be too wordy for me to go into details. The Senior Advocate has a phone where she can be reached and she assured us that it will be a human you will be talking to and not a machine.

For more information you can e-mail her at

The purpose of the convention is to bring up resolutions submitted by the different branches.

These resolutions will be printed in the Seniors Activity Newsletter.

Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

The GIS provides a monthly non-taxable benefit to Old Age Security (OAS) pension recipients who have a low income and are living in Canada.

To find out if you qualify— or just to make sure you are getting GIS, call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.

If you don’t apply you don’t get!

Williams Lake Tribune