Vancouver Police search for missing senior with dementia  – BC


Vancouver Police are asking for the public’s help to find 67-year-old Glen McKim.

He was last seen Sunday, February 17 at 2 p.m. in the area of Granville Island. Mr. McKim has a number of medical issues, including dementia.

Mr. McKim is described as white, 5’8” tall, medium build, and with balding salt-and-pepper hair. He was last seen wearing a grey jacket over a grey shirt, and black pants. He is not expected to be using a walker.

Anyone who sees Glen McKim is asked to call 9-1-1 and stay with him until first responders arrive.

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Edmonton senior transportation service could get cash boost from city – Edmonton


A transportation service for seniors could soon receive a cash infusion from the City of Edmonton if a motion for funding passes at city council this week.

Drive Happiness serves between 700 and 800 seniors in the Edmonton area and has about 75 volunteer drivers.

Connie Van Dyk, 70, is blind and has depended on the service for about a year.

“For me, it means independence,” Van Dyk told Global News. “It means I can go to the things I like to go to. I can go to work and back home again.”

Despite strong demand, the non-profit is in need of more funding to avoid service reductions.

This week, a motion by Coun. Andrew Knack aims to inject $180,000 into the service for 2019 and look at how to keep it sustainable for the long term.

The service operates alongside the city’s Disabled Adult Transit Service (DATS).

“If they’re not around, what we’ve often heard is a lot of people would have to use DATS service, which is already fairly constrained,” Knack said. “We heard a lot during budget about the need to really enhance that service.”

Accessible SUV stolen from Edmonton double-amputee skier ahead of race event

Van Dyk uses Drive Happiness in conjunction with DATS. She believes further funding is essential.

“Please, please give them the money so that people like myself — no matter what the disability and the age — we can get out there and be the independent people we want to be and live life to the fullest, really,” Van Dyk said.

The motion is set to go to Edmonton city council on Tuesday.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Hamilton senior in unbearable pain wants assisted dying to save her from nursing home


At 75, Arleen Reinsborough’s fear of nursing homes has her more determined than ever to seek assisted suicide.

Of course, fear of long-term care doesn’t qualify her for medical assistance in dying.

But Reinsborough is confident her unbearable pain will.

Reinsborough has severe osteoarthritis, asthma, psoriasis so bad that her feet bleed whenever she stands up, and a damaged back and neck that linger from two past car accidents.

But it’s her future that makes her despair the most.

“It isn’t depression that makes me want to die, it’s the fear of living with inhumane, overcrowded conditions, loneliness and lack of hope,” she says, referring to life in a nursing home.

“I’m trying to do all I can to prevent going to long-term care. I believe in quality of life, not quantity of life.”

The homes she says she can afford “are worse than living on the street or living at all.”

Hamilton has 1,717 people on a wait list for a room in a long-term care (LTC) facility, most of them for the cheapest, basic room which costs about $1,848 a month. A private room is $2,640 a month and semi-private runs about $2,228.

The facilities are mandated to provide 24-hour nursing and personal care.

Reinsborough accepts that, as a member of the baby boom generation (born 1945-1965), there will never be enough services because of the size of the aging demographic.

She has a “small, wonderful” family with two adult children who are “stretched to the limit” trying to help care for her, all while working and caring for their own children — two of whom have medical issues, and another has a learning disability.

“How could I ask more of them?”

Reinsborough’s decision to apply for assisted dying was difficult.

“I have chronic illnesses. The only way that ends is very badly,” she says.

“I’m like a prisoner of a war camp I can never escape from, and every day I get a level of pain from four to 10 — every day.

“In other words, it’s torture.”

Her husband of 52 years, John, 82, is not keen on her wish for assisted dying, but he respects it; he understands her suffering.

“The medical profession doesn’t seem to offer too many solutions,” he says. “Either you sit by and watch your wife suffer, or you watch her pass away.”

Their son and daughter, however, are noncommittal, according to John. It is hard for them, because they are younger, to truly know their mother’s pain, he says.

Reinsborough says her children did not want to comment because they wish to remain anonymous.

“This is not an easy route to take but I cannot see any other options and there is a time for all of us,” she said.

Last fall, Reinsborough, fed up with the “torture” she felt, went to the hospital ER and told staff that without more help, she was going to the Jolley Cut to “jump off.”

“I meant it, too … I had even thought to call 911 before I do, so (police) could clear the Jolley Cut and no one else would get hurt,” she says. “I could see no hope in sight.”

She ended up getting three hours of home care per week in order to take a bath and make her bed.

Now, she’s awaiting a referral to a doctor willing to help her die.

“We’ve lost our compassion for seniors,” she says. “We’re not cute. Some people say we also smell. Well, so did they when they were babies.”

Margaret Denton, a gerontologist with the Hamilton Council on Aging, says many seniors feel the way Reinsborough does about long-term care.

“The thought of a nursing home, where they don’t have much control on their life, is threatening …”

Part of the answer lies in more supports for older adults at home, and ensuring quality care in nursing homes, she says.

But Reinsborough feels people no longer see value in seniors, adding, “It’s hard to be human to someone seen as valueless.”

For example, she gives a recent Spectator story about the cancellation of the Seniors Isolation Impact Plan due to a lack of government funding. The program identified seniors “falling through the cracks” and would guide them to community services.

She would like, when there is no other option to a nursing home, to be able to invoke her assisted dying wish.

That could be difficult though because an advance request for assisted death is invalid if she is incapable of making her own decision when the time comes.

“I can’t see myself lying there in a fetal position waiting to die,” she says however.

“There is such a lack of places to die in peace, dignity, and pain-free with gentle care,” she recently wrote the prime minister in a plea to expand assisted dying rules. “All I see ahead of me is poverty, suffering and a lack of caregivers.”

“If assisted suicide is not available to seniors like me, there will be a lot of botched attempts,” which she says will put a strain on hospitals.

Reinsborough cites other serious senior problems — aside from pain and fear of nursing homes — that spur her desire for assisted dying. They include small pensions, medical services that OHIP won’t pay for, and prescriptions not covered by the Ontario Drug Benefit program.

She also says it is impossible to get into senior housing. Reinsborough and her husband live in a small home they can barely afford to rent on the Mountain.

None of those problems will make her eligible for assisted dying, says Dying with Dignity Canada.

CEO Shanaaz Gokool says qualifying is not that simple and that “only a tiny percentage of people will have an assisted death.”

But her organization sees Reinsborough’s type of situation all the time. “Anxiety is amplified by the lack of dignity and the lack of finances,” she says.

People developing dementia, for example, don’t want to end up in a care facility, she says.

But doctors must ensure people meet the eligibility criteria and that their wish for assisted dying “is enduring,” Gokool says.

“At our end of the spectrum (at Dying with Dignity) … our focus is on ensuring the most frail and vulnerable have access to all of their end-of-life options.”

cfragomeni@thespec.com905-526-3392 | @CarmatTheSpec

Photograph by Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator


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Edmonton police concerned for well-being of missing senior who needs medication – Edmonton


The Edmonton Police Service issued a plea for help from the public on Thursday night as they look for a missing senior whom they’re concerned about because he needs medication.

Harry Quinn, 80, was last seen leaving the Southside Seniors Day Program at 3030 106 St. on foot at about 2 p.m.

“Quinn requires medication and may appear confused and/or disoriented if approached,” police said in a news release. “His disappearance is considered to be out of character. Therefore, there are concerns for his well-being.

“There are no indications to suggest foul play at this time.”

Quinn is about five-foot-nine and weighs about 175 pounds. He has blue eyes and wears dark glasses. He has thinning brown and grey hair. Quinn was last seen wearing brown shoes and dark blue khaki pants. It’s not known what kind of shirt or jacket he was wearing.

Anyone with any information about Quinn’s whereabouts is asked to call police at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Canada, U.S. have reached a NAFTA deal, senior Canadian source says


After more than a year of fractious negotiations, Canada and the U.S. have reached a tentative new North American Free Trade Agreement, a senior source told CBC News.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau convened a late-night meeting of cabinet to brief ministers on the NAFTA progress, only hours before a U.S.-imposed midnight deadline.

At the heart of the deal is a trade-off between greater U.S. access to Canada’s dairy market, which is heavily protected by a system of supply management, and Canadian demands for the maintenance of a dispute resolution process, sources said.

The two sides have agreed to keep Chapter 19, NAFTA’s dispute resolution mechanism, intact. That’s a major victory for Canadian negotiators who have long sought to keep some sort of process to challenge anti-dumping and countervailing-duty cases — which Canada has deployed in the past over the softwood lumber file.

A source with direct knowledge of the situation told CBC’s Katie Simpson that Chapter 19 will be preserved, word for word.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has steadfastly opposed this chapter as he believes it’s a violation of U.S. sovereignty to have a multinational panel of arbiters decide on the acceptability of U.S. tariffs.

​In exchange for some U.S. concessions on a dispute mechanism, Canada is expected to give U.S. farmers greater access to Canada’s dairy market by increasing the quota on foreign imports.

Under the current supply management system, Canada imposes tariffs on dairy imports — which can run as high as 300 per cent — that exceed the established quota. Trump has railed against these tariffs as unfair to American farmers, as they are designed to keep foreign products out while privileging Canadian sources.

Sources said Canadian officials were going line by line through U.S. requests on dairy Sunday night before putting pen to paper on an agreement that could be politically challenging for the Liberal government, especially in Quebec, where dairy farmers hold electoral sway in certain ridings.

Under the new NAFTA, the U.S. will have roughly the same access to the Canadian dairy market as what was given up by Trudeau when he signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade deal with 10 Asia-Pacific countries earlier this year.

Under that agreement, those 10 countries will have market access that equals 3.25 per cent of Canada’s annual milk production. The exact percentage extended to U.S. dairy exporters was not immediately clear.

At the outset of the NAFTA talks, the U.S. demanded Canada dismantle supply management entirely — something that Trudeau maintained is a non-starter.

Canada is also expected to sign on to this new NAFTA without any reassurances that the U.S. will lift its so-called « section 232 » tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, two sources told CBC News — a coup for the economic nationalists that surround Trump who believe that protectionist measures like these punitive tariffs can help salvage the declining U.S. steel industry.

Canadian sources told CBC News they hope to resolve the 232 issue before ratifying NAFTA.

Those tariffs were levied on « national security » grounds using presidential authority granted under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which gives the president broad powers to impose tariffs without consulting Congress. Canada responded to Trump’s move with counter-tariffs on billions of dollars worth of U.S. goods.

While technically separate from NAFTA talks, the U.S. has used the threat of further 232 tariffs on autos to extract concessions from Canada and Mexico — a frightening proposition for the Canadians.

According to the U.S. Trade Representative, Canada ships more than $56 billion US worth of autos — cars and parts alike — to the U.S. each year. The auto industry employs more than 120,000 people in Canada, with most of those jobs concentrated in southwestern Ontario.

Canada has also secured exemptions for its creative industries. The existing NAFTA deals includes a cultural exemption clause, which means cultural goods are not treated like other commercial products — and that will continue under the new terms of the deal. Lighthizer has previously cited Canada’s broadcasting content and telecommunication ownership rules as an irritant.

U.S. negotiators have been gunning for a new NAFTA by month’s end to get a text of the agreement to Congress for its mandatory 60-day review period. That could allow for a deal to be signed before Dec 1., when Mexico’s new, left-leaning president takes office.

Under U.S. law, while Congress can extend fast-track negotiating authority to Trump administration officials — as it has with NAFTA — legislators retain the right to review any proposed trade agreement and decide whether it will be implemented. That relationship is governed by a set of strict, legislated timelines that allow Congress enough time to study a deal before delivering a decision.

Watch: Canada, U.S. and Mexico push for final NAFTA deal

David MacNaughton talks to reporters outside the Prime Minister’s office in Ottawa on Sept. 30 as negotiators work to meet a NAFTA deadline set by the U.S. and Mexico. 0:56

A Mexican intervention?

Last month, Trump announced his negotiators had reached a bilateral deal with Mexico.

He outlined the deadline  — Sept. 30 at midnight — for the text of that deal to be submitted to Congress. Canada would be allowed on board, he explained, but they’d have to agree to the terms spelled out in the bilateral agreement. 

Trump made it clear Canada’s failure to join would be unacceptable, with hefty auto tariffs as a consequence.  

Mexico’s new president-elect, however, said in an interview Friday that he has agreed to push the American side to make a deal with Canada.

President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Trudeau asked him during a Thursday phone call « to intervene and call on the U.S. government to reach an agreement » with Canada on the renegotiation of NAFTA.

« We agreed to that, » Lopez Obrador told reporters in Mexico City. The president-elect also said he would insist on a trilateral pact.

However, later Friday evening, Lopez Obrador’s Senate leader, Ricardo Monreal, said Mexico wouldn’t walk away from a bilateral agreement. 

« The ideal is a trilateral deal, but we’re prepared for the possible need of a bilateral, » he told Bloomberg News.


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