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LETTER: Where are the homes middle class seniors can afford?

From reader Evelyn Kristiansen

During the federal political debate last week, the issues of affordable housing and seniors’ care were addressed several times. I cannot find where local candidates clearly stand on these issues.

Herein, I would like to address affordable housing and care for middle class seniors living in rural areas of B.C. — seniors who have worked hard all our lives, paid our taxes, and own our own homes. Now we find that we require more and more assistance.

We need services available to those in the city, services not available to those in the country. I personally found this out when I tried to avail myself of the Handy Dart transportation services from Six Mile, North Shore, and Nelson to the Nelson hospital for physiotherapy after surgery, and was told that the Handy Dart goes only to Four Mile. There are a lot of us all up the North Shore, Slocan Valley, Salmo and beyond, as well as other parts of B.C.

Apparently there are all kinds of services available through Aging in Place. We can stay in our own home and hire affordable help for such things as light housekeeping and yard maintenance, grocery shopping and food preparation, security and and medical monitoring. Where is this qualified help? We would like to maintain our independence, privacy and dignity as long as we can, and not become a burden on society.

We can downsize and move into cities closer to services and activities. Here again I ask, where are these homes that middle class seniors can afford?

In Nelson I can find only housing being built for people on low incomes and for those with deep pockets.

Have we middle class seniors been forgotten?

Evelyn Kristiansen

North Shore, Nelson