Better tomorrow won’t come without action now
To all parties — to have a stronger tomorrow, one needs the proper tools to do so today.
Food security in the form of fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy, breads, pastas, meat and fish. Most of these are out of reach for those on fixed incomes who are forced to buy sodas, canned or processed foods containing high salt and sugar content, because they are cheaper. This results in such illnesses as deficient levels of needed vitamins and minerals, poor formation of healthy teeth and strong bones.
Warmth. Currently there are many who cannot enjoy their homes between the months of November through to May, because the money they receive isn’t enough to provide both food and heat. They turn the heat off in rooms, resulting in dampness and mould leading colds, bronchial asthma, pneumonia, infections, arthritis etc.
Prescription drugs. So many vulnerable people cannot afford to fill their prescription and go without things like test strips, or other medications like ostomy supplies or inhalers. People with serious illnesses need medication to stay well, things like diabetes strips (currently not covered) to measure blood sugar levels and pumps, drugs to treat rare conditions and cancer drugs. Some who work are not qualified to use the Newfoundland Prescription Drug Program. This has to change.
Transportation to all medical appointments. One must pay these costs upfront and then submit a claim and ‘hope’ to be reimbursed. The client must also make eight such trips before the ninth trip is considered for reimbursement. If you are an Advanced Education and Skills client living let’s say in Carbonear, you would have to go to St. John’s eight times at a cost between $120-$150 each way, before being reimbursed for the ninth trip only.
Affordable, accessible, daycare. As it now stands, many people who could be working are not, mainly because what money they get goes straight out to a babysitter, leaving them no further ahead than they were on welfare, and that’s if they are fortunate enough to find a full time job and if they were able to find quality day care at an affordable cost. Several families have told me they are further ahead on welfare with the way things are now.
A better dental care program. That’s pretty much how it is anywhere, for most! Yet for AES clients, dental care is not easy. Dental care programs have a $300 cap. That’s not much. And there is no provision for fluoride or other preventative treatments.
Better support for seniors. You, like many others have heard the phrase, ‘the golden years’? I call it the ‘tarnished years’ simply because for many elderly, there is not enough money to provide the extra heat they need.
Enhanced supports for the disabled. In rural areas there is a major shortage of much needed services for the disabled.There are no wheelchair or handicapped transportation systems. Often the disabled need extra money for the extra expenses incurred because of the disability, like leg or body braces, snow removal, and appointments with doctors and specialists.
Programs for those with special needs. Children and young adults need programs designed specifically for their illness or condition, whether it is autism, hearing impaired, or blindness. Without these programs, some of our brightest will never realize their full potential as contributing citizens in Newfoundland.
These are some of the issues I see and hear everyday in the lives of those around me and in their interactions with me!
You want a stronger tomorrow? Start by providing the tools needed to build stronger people! Give us your solid commitment to this!