Being Your Own Media

“Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

It has been such a crazy week I am more inclined to withdraw than report on it.  However one does not generate much awareness by sitting in a corner mumbling.  In this new time of “post truth” and “alternative facts” (I can’t believe I can even say that) people have to be aware how insidious social media can be and check their facts.  People need to exercise their mind just as much as their biceps and fact checking is a good way to do that.

Much of my desire to withdraw is due to the level of fake news and the toxicity it’s having on the people around me.  This is why people need to be more responsible and part of being responsible is to verify your knowledge level.  A bit of common sense is needed…

Look at it this way, if I were to lend you my car so you could get to Campbell River and back but half way there you ran out of gas because I said I thought it was full when you asked, is it my fault I was wrong.  Hopefully one would verify how much gas by maybe topping it up before you took off.  Social media is kind of like that.  Just because someone says something or posts some “really cool” picture on Facebook does not mean it’s true.

That doesn’t mean anyone with a personal agenda or questionable ideology (that’s what Facebook is for) can’t use social media but social media, like any form of communication, has certain rules.  One of the basics I grew up with was an individuals responsibility to verify information.  In the days of talking that might have meant something as simple as “what did you mean by that” or “where did you hear that from”.  Get into the habit of not just accepting.  The second lesson I learned really early was to raise awareness with references and substantive sources.  So it is best I write rather than binge on Taboo…so for today I will be somebodies media and to be clear I am NOT a journalist although I have had my own column in the Alderlea Magazine now defunct.  So I repeat right now I am playing media…

bethenewsFor those of you that have been following my adventures to access an assisted living apartment well caller 3, and 4 made their presence known.  Caller 3 was an in-home assessment done by a nice fellow, an Occupational Therapist who was close to my age.  I introduce him to more adaptive aids and techniques I have developed over a life time of trial and error to the point where his visit was more of an in-service than a client assessment.  He recognized the foolishness of using criteria to assess an “able-bodied” senior experiencing age related decompensation with someone whose life was build around developing adaptive techniques.  How many stairs I can do before I become short of breath or has the weight load of your grocery shopping changed in the last six months?  Those are not exactly the criteria someone in a wheelchair worries about.

Regardless to obtain access to assisted living I need to show on paper I am receiving 30 hours a month of homecare.  I now have homecare coming every morning for an hour to my surprise.  Thanks to Island Health my homecare workers began arriving this past Wednesday so that happened quickly.  Since Wednesday I have had a different pleasant lady come knocking at my door around 10am and introduced themselves as my care aid for the next hour.

By the time they arrive I’ve had my coffee, finished my breakfast and have started my daily writing.  By the sounds of it they showed up expecting to get me out of bed, do some breakfast for me and get my day going.  All abilities I can handle myself which leaves us discussing their purpose.  There is no care plan so they are not quite sure what they are supposed to accomplish with me.  I’m kind of scratching my head as well but I know I need to rack up those 30 hours a month to obtain the service I actually need.  Unfortunately these care aids have become pieces on a real life chess board.  Next move, the policy people.

So when I read about the shortage of time for needy seniors in the community I feel a little guilty.  There is a limited amount of care aid time and it shouldn’t be wasted as a way to work around a policy.  Our government has developed too many policy that have become barrier to the very people they were meant to assist.  These are “systemic policy” in nature and should be revisited.

There is an aging population and it is filled with first time disabled seniors or, described another way, as a generation of people who grew up with disabilities and have already made the adaptions the “non-disabled” senior is now experiencing.  The other elephant in the room that no one seems to want to address is we now have two (yes 2) generation of seniors.  We have the “traditional generation” seniors in my mothers generation and then the baby-boomer seniors, the generation that refused to acknowledge being a senior.

We continue to plan and build a system based on the needs of the traditional generation while not even noticing (or pretending not to notice) the floodgates of the new seniors are opening.  The peers I have in those demographics want nothing like what was available to their parents retirement.  The future planners need to take that into account however all I can focus on is those policies proving to be a barrier to me.  I have spend too many years ripping down barriers to stop now especially when those barriers cost others much needed service.

With the BC provincial election just three months away I will do my best to make this an election issue.  It is an issue that affects every resident but particularly seniors and disabled.  We need a government that creates good policy and programs, not barriers and social isolation…

Opinion shared…



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