We Albertans know that we owe our seniors a lot. After all, they’re the ones responsible for building our province up to what it is today. They’re our parents, our grandparents, our teachers, our mentors. It’s no exaggeration to say that they are cornerstones of our communities.
As more and more Albertans grow older, some will need some assistance with their day to day lives. Naturally, this means that there will be some space crunches as we help them out, and we need to be able to keep up.
As you know, I have always been a big believer in taking proper care of those who built this province. We owe our quality of life to their vision and hard work, and the absolute least we can do is return the favour. This is why I’m so excited to have some good news on this.
When the Government issued a request for proposals for Affordable Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI) grants in Fall 2014, the original plan for the grant money was 1,500 supportive living spaces. Turns out the ASLI grants will help build more than 2,600 spaces – that’s a lot more spaces for our seniors.
Almost 400 of those spaces will be for long-term care throughout the province. On top of this, Edmonton and Calgary will get more than 300 spaces for restorative care. This will take pressure off acute care facilities and emergency departments. In total, ASLI is giving $180 million toward 31 projects in 18 communities. ASLI grants cover up to half of the cost for all of these spaces. Most importantly, this will ensure that our parents and grandparents are receiving the care they need and deserve.
All told, more than $600 million has gone toward supportive living since 1999. Since then, Alberta has funded more than 8,000 new supportive living spaces.
The point of supportive living is to give our seniors a place to call home. They stay independent, but they also have help if and when they need it. Residents have their own private rooms and access to meals, housekeeping, recreational activities, and 24-7 professional nursing care.
Aging in comfort, security, and dignity is not something that comes with a price tag. These are things that matter to my parents, I know they matter to yours, and they sure matter to the Alberta Government, too. I’m thrilled that we’re elevating the level of care for our loved ones – it’s what they deserve.
If you’re curious about what it means for you, you can check out HYPERLINK “http://www.seniors.alberta.ca” www.seniors.alberta.ca for more information on ASLI and other seniors’ programs and services.