The Canadian government has made a significant step in establishing standards that govern the services offered to its senior citizens with disabilities, by the government’s health care system, as a way of ensuring that they are well managed. Such standards are stipulated at Faslink.org (2006), which not only outlines services available to the said population, but also provides the manner in which one can access them.
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In this regard, all senior Canadian citizens with disability are allowed by the government to have a state’s cover on the cost for approved drug prescription. Such coverage is provided under the state’s Drug Benefits program that ensures that the drugs are not only available to seniors with disability, but also at reduced prices. Moreover, senior war veterans in the nation also receive other health care benefits such as prosthetic devices and dental care services which are not offered to the younger population of people with disability. Equally important, seniors with long-term physical disability also enjoy the Assistive Devices Program on an application, which aids them in case of low financial status. As such, the Assistive Devices Program procures successful applicants with things like wheelchairs, hearing aids, and home oxygen supply. Moreover, the “Seniors In Need” program, a government’s agency, further does commendable work in linking seniors with disability, and those who have low income but have failed to access government’s aid, to potential donors who then assist them in acquiring assistive devices as pointed out by Premier of Ontario. (2014). In the same token, the Government of Canada (2016) states that the Canadian healthcare system has additional programs that help seniors with disability in offsetting costs associated with diabetes, while the Kidney Foundation provides the said section of citizens with emergency and short-term financial assistance to cater for kidney disease treatment expenses.
While the above discussion shows the Canadian government to have done much about assisting its senior citizens with disability, a clear view on other aspects of healthcare provision can also depict the limitedness of the provided services. For instance, Faslink.org (2006) shows that the Canadian healthcare system hardly provides the said population with funds for optical expenses despite appreciating that eye problems are common health issues that sire many people at their old age. Additionally, the organization reports that older adults living with disability also receive no adequate support concerning dental programs, which have majorly been left to few community health clinics. To prove such inaccessibility to essential health services, Premier of Ontario (2014) observed that issues as sensitive as eye problems amongst elderly citizens with disability have been left to organizations such the Give the Gift of Sight, which assists those from low-income families with eyewear and vision services. Consequently, the organization’s effectiveness is said to be less efficient compared to the large number of people needing its services.
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Healthcare policies are created to deal with an emergence of health care issues that must be addressed to ensure good health to a nation’s citizens. As such, it is true that running recreational therapy can lead to overall reduction in healthcare policy as it (recreational therapy) is based on the realization that engaging people in an active and satisfying lifestyle makes them healthier and happier. Such approach reduces the amount of health care attention required by citizens and hence the resources needed by their government to cater for their health needs. Consequently, Williamson et al. (2006) argued that people receiving recreational therapy can develop enough therapeutic stamina that allows them to live independently with improved individual functioning and health longer after healthcare team is involved in their lives. With this regard, outdoor games involving seniors with disability in the help of health care providers, as well as public watching and performing aspects depicted in disability sensitization films are some of the recreational therapy that can be utilized (National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, 2017).
Lastly, it is worthwhile appreciating that much of the above benefits can never be enjoyed by a significant number of Canada’s seniors with disability if it were not for social workers. For instance, social workers in Canada help older adults with disability to apply for different types of benefits as many of them hardly know about their existence. Additionally, social workers, too, perform an essential role by engaging the said population in recreational therapy, which has been shown to be of great importance not only those with disability but to the nation as well. Moreover, it is the duty of social workers to identify seniors with disability within the Canadian communities and help them access critical benefits set to them by the government. Last but not least, it is social workers in Canada who identify seniors with disability who have not succeeded in applying for federal support, after which the social worker recommends other non-governmental organizations to the affected and aids them in reaching the suggested organization.
- Faslink.org (2006). Services for people with disabilities: Guide to Government of Canada services for people with disabilities and their families.
- Government of Canada. (2016). Canada’s health care system.
- National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification. (2017). About recreational therapy.
- Premier of Ontario. (2014). A Guide to programs and services for seniors in Ontario.
- Williamson, D. L., Stewart, M. J., Hayward, K., Makwarimba, E., Masunda, J., & Wilson, D (2006). Low-income Canadians’ experiences with health-related services: Implications for health care reform. Health Policy, 76, 106–121