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Friday, July 10, 2009

friday frustrations: no help for seniors bc

Like everyone else suffering with the economic crunch, so are my parents. My dad lost his job after working his ass off for several years (like forever) and when it happened it was one of the worst things to ever happen to them.
sunsetImage by kingstongal via Flickr

My pop is 57 or 58 years old, I stopped counting because he will always be 25 to me, young and my daddy. Yes I am a daddy's girl and I grew up watching my father work like a horse day in and day out, sometimes straight where we wouldn't see him, just to make ends meet and keep my mother and us three kids going.

Medically now at his age he should be in great shape but isn't. He suffered a heart attack a year or so ago, and has rheumatoid arthritis running through his body. My mother also suffered a heart attack (very young) over ten years ago and has already had triple bypass surgery among the other ailing diseases (diabetes, cataracts, lung disease, broken arteries, polymyalga) you name it she most likely suffers from it.

Yet these are supposed to be their golden years.

Us kids are all grown up. We have kids of our own and are all trying to survive financially. This is the time they are supposed to be going on vacation and loving life, not groveling for help. Yet that is exactly what they are being forced to do.

Dad applied for EI (employment insurance) since he got laid off due to cut backs. I mean he paid into it for years, so it only makes sense he apply for help for the daily necessities in life like rent, hydro, food, medications in order to survive.

Now dad got severance of course. So EI made him use it. God forbid they allow someone a chance to get a little ahead after they've had the rug pulled out from under them. Nawww our government doesn't like to that, keep em poor is our motto up in here in the sticks.

Three months salary means three months of severance. My parents lost their vehicle because they couldn't of course afford to pay the monthly amount now that pop wasn't working. And mom hasn't worked in years due to her disabilities. So they gave it back (whole other story which is just ugly if you ask me) dealing with Carfinco the company that financed them (the basasturds!) treated them like crap.

Dad won't get any money until August and food is running short, and they still have meds to buy. So EI informs them (now) not when he applied to go to Income Assistance (another government) agency to get financial aid until his EI comes in.

Mom is totally upset about all this. She's depressed and I can understand why; however I've been through it (having been an assistance) leech myself. That's what they call us, people who apparently milk the government for money when they should be working.

It doesn't matter if you left a spouse who beat you and need to get back on your feet, or lost a job. It doesn't matter if you are a senior and can't afford to live on a pension that pays less than half the cost of our actual living here in BC. It doesn't matter if you need medications and can't afford to buy them (so the only choice) is to die because without these meds you're basically screwed.

Going to welfare is about as fun as having a root canal done while waiting a bus stop crowded with obscene gesturing teenagers...

It royally sucks!

But that is the reality. It sucks and you have to suck it up if you want help, become a beggar and force yourself down the social scale in life to a notch above a person living on the street who most likely eats better because the quantity of dumpsters is more plentiful than the amount of money they give you to buy real food.

Milk cost = $4.00 or more
Bread cost = $2.00 or more
Can of Soup = #2.00 or more
Peanut Butter cost = $4.00 or more

4 items = $12.00 multiply that a couple of times and there is $100 worth of milk, soup and peanut butter sandwiches to live on for the month.

It's fucking stupid!

Humbling experiences in life come when you least expect them and are least prepared. They change the foundation of what you know not only about yourself but the world you live in.

Yeah that's true but at almost 60 years old who the feck wants to envelop that philosophy? I certainly do not want to see my parents having to go to the food bank or beg for help to pay their rent or end up on the street, especially not after they clothed, fed and sheltered me a good portion of my life.

It hurts so badly and I wish more than anything something would change for them. But it seems for them when it rains it pours and right now they are caught in a storm teetering on the edge of sanity and trying to keep their heads above the water that threatens to drown them.

Me, I get to sit back and watch helplessly. The most I can do is this -- blog it and only to make myself feel a tad better in getting out the emotions that cloud my heart with regret for them because I cannot help them monetary wise.

Every day there are more and more stories being shown about our seniors survival or lack of. Many seniors are now living on the street because the government wishes to help the young and seemingly forgets about our older generation (the ones who got us) here.

I guess I just don't want my parents to be another story.

Head over to conversations with moms and post your Friday Frustrations.

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