Aging & Seniors

HAFI Grants – Home Adaptatons for Independence


Government of BC program that recognizes even small home adaptations can make a big difference in the

lives of people who wish to remain in their homes longer.

If you or a member of your family is having difficulty performing day-to-day activities independently and safely – the HAFI program may be able to help. 
Note that to be eligible for grants to make an improvement your house must be worth less than lot value – who sets these ridiculous limits anyways?

Cuts to Medical Coverage = fewer dentist visits


Cuts to Medical Coverage and Minimum Shelter Allowance

FromBC Coaltion for People with Disabilities

Following the March 2nd budget, the Ministry of Housing and Social Development announced it will be making a number of cuts to the health and medical services available to people receiving provincial disabilitybenefits and income assistance. The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (BCCPD) is very concerned about the impact that these changes will have on our community.

We are also disappointed at the lack of community consultation about these cuts. If you share our concerns, we invite you to write to Minister Coleman and your MLA. You can find your local MLA and Minister Coleman’s contact information by going to

The BCCPD is currently reviewing the new regulations in order to provide you with detailed information on the changes. In the meantime, here is a very brief list of some of the changes which will come into force on April 1st (unless we have indicated a different date).

Medical Equipment and Supplies

A broad range of medical equipment and supplies will no longer be funded by the Ministry. Those that will be funded must be the cheapest appropriate to the person’s needs and are listed in the regulations. Here are some examples of items that the Ministry will no longer fund:

  • diagnostic testing devices such as glucose meters
  • contraceptive devices (for example, IUDs)
  • pre-made orthotics.


In addition to changes to what the Ministry will fund, there will be restrictions, for example on:

  • how often the Ministry will repair or replace equipment
  • how much money the Ministry will spend on each item of equipment. For instance, motorized scooters valued at more than $3,500 will not be funded. To be eligible for a motorized scooter, a physician must say the applicant won’t need a wheelchair for 5 years.

Monthly Nutritional Supplement (MNS)

The eligibility requirements for the MNS have been tightened. For example:

  • loss of bone density will no longer count as a symptom
  • significant weight loss not significant weight change will be used to determine eligibility.
  • applicants will be required to demonstrate they have at least two symptoms, rather than one which is currently the case.

The MNS will be reduced by $20 because the Ministry will no longer fund bottled water. People currently receiving the bottled water supplement will receive it until May 31st 2010 only.

Medical Services: Time limits and Income-Testing

  • People with disabilities who leave assistance when they turn 65 and go on to the seniors’ pension, or people who leave provincial disability for Canada Pension Plan Disability will only keep their medical and dental coverage for one year, rather than permanently as is currently the case.
  • People with disabilities who leave assistance for employment will only keep their medical coverage if they are receiving Premium Assistance from the Medical Services Plan.

Dental Treatment

  • Cleaning, examinations and fluoride treatments will be reduced to once a year (currently twice a year).
  • X-ray coverage every 2 years (currently every year).

Shelter Allowance

The $75 monthly Shelter Allowance for people who don’t pay rent is eliminated as of June 1st 2010.


Tips on Home/Residential Care for Seniors


I recently read some good information about considerations with Home Care in British Columbia by the Greater Vancouver Community Services Society in the Vancouver Sun written by Ron McLeod. If you have questions you can contact him at 604.737.4900.

At the same time, in the Vancouver Sun, the BC Ombudsman says that seniors deserve a bill of rights. The Ombudsman also said that it is a complex system and it is confusing for seniors. For more detail please see the Ombudsman’s Report.

The Vancouver Sun also has a database with the ratings of facilities.

Looking for a Support Worker?


The B.C. wide website  Support Worker Central, "Where individuals or families can create job profiles & connect with freelance workers"  For more information, go to 

Handydart services


Posted for Frank Jetha, BACI Seniors Committee

If someone become unable to utilize public tranport or transit services and the doctor will certify the person is unable to use above services then he or she qualifies for Handi dart.


The person who qualifies for handi dart qualifies for taxi savers as well. This program allows people to purchase $50.00 worth of taxi savers per month that can be used for $ 100 worth of rides.

HandyCard and Taxi SaverDo you have a permanent physical or cognitive disability that makes it difficult to use the public transit system without assistance? We’re here to help with HandyCard discounts and Taxi Saver coupons.If you live within the TransLink service area, HandyCard lets you travel for Concession fares on the bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express. If you’re accompanied by someone who assists you they can ride for free, so you can go green and pay less. HandyCard can’t be used on HandyDART. When you begin your transit trip on HandyDART, you pay the regular HandyDART fare, not a concession fare.  Applying for HandyCardHere’s how to apply for a HandyCard:

  • Please complete and sign the Application Form. Have your family doctor (or senior official of a recognized social service or health agency) complete the verification portion.
  • Mail your completed application to our Access Transit Office (at the address below), along with two recent photographs. The photos should be clear, face-front, head-and-shoulders, taken in photo booths at malls or photographic studios. Photos taken with your own camera are acceptable, as long the picture can be sized to 3.2 cm x 3.2 cm (1 1/4" x 1 1/4").

Your non-transferable HandyCard with one photo attached will be mailed to you within four to six weeks after we receive your application.  Taxi Savers Taxi Saver is a supplementary service to HandyDART and available for people with permanent disabilities who have a HandyCard. To find out more about the program, please contact the Access Transit office at 604-453-4634. TransLink Access Transit Office
1600 – 4720 Kingsway
Burnaby, BC V5H 4N2
(604) 453-4634
Read more about Access Transit… Government Funded Annual Bus Pass If you’re from BC and qualify for additional assistance from the BC Ministry of Housing and Social Development, you may be eligible for a discounted yearly bus pass. 


Involuntary Separation for Seniors


Posted for Frank Jetha, BACI seniors committee (604-298-1085)

When one spouse becomes incapacitated (long term illness with admission to a long term care facility or hospital) and the other spouse who looks after the incapacitated spouse the government compensates him/her up to $400.00 per month for pain and suffering.  This includes a spouse who continues to visit and support their partner in a facility while they are ill or until they die.

Death benefits


Posted for Frank Jetha

Government pays funeral expenses up to $2500.00 .

This benefit is connected to CPP and so it varies person to person.

Some folks have only received $100 and others up to $2500. Depends on individual CPP contributions.

"If you have contributed to the CPP for the necessary number of years, the CPP also offers a one-time lump-sum death benefit to your estate upon your death. Furthermore, your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible to receive a monthly survivor pension. Dependent children up to the age of 25 may also be eligible for benefits (those between 18 and 25 must be attending school full-time).

Applications for Canada Pension Plan benefits are available from any federal Service Canada office or on-line from the Service Canada website."


For help to apply or more information call Frank Jetha at 604-298-1085

S.A.F.E.R.- Shelter aid for elderly renters


Government rental subsidy for low income seniors 55 and over.


for help to apply contact Frank Jetha at 604-298-1085

Widows pension (survivors pension)


Posted for Frank Jetha

Begins at age 60 and ends at age 65.

Widow pension is attached to your CPP contribution and therefore it will vary person to person.

For more information and help to apply contact Frank Jetha at 604-298-1085

Representation Agreements


Having a Representation Agreement in place has made day-to-day matters for my handicapped loved one so much easier to manage. 

This had included dealing with systems and processes such as:  government offices, civil legal, medical, financial, housing, applications, etc.

It is easy to put in effect and affordable.   We would recommend it to any family who has a loved one with a disability or senior citizen. 

For further information contact:

Representation Agreement & Resource Centre (RARC) or Nidus Registry, 411 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver, BC   V6B 1X4

Phone:  (604) 408-7414