Recognizing Important Contributions
Thank you to our seniors who have built our communities. This week, September 29 to October 5, has been declared Seniors’ Week in Saskatchewan. This special week encourages all of us to recognize the many achievements of the Senior and how important seniors are every day in every community.
Saskatchewan seniors are an active and engaged group in our province. According to the most recent Canadian statistics, about three-quarters of senior men and women are engaged in “active pursuits,” such as exercising or socializing, and almost all senior men and women continue to be involved in passive leisure activities.
Good health care and appropriate housing is necessary for seniors to remain engaged in their communities. Social housing is available in nearly 300 Saskatchewan communities, with over 800 units in Moose Jaw. This program provides affordable rental housing for seniors with low to moderate incomes. The Personal Care Home Benefit provides senior citizens with financial assistance to help with the cost of living in a licensed personal care home. Fifteen new long -term care facilities have been opened in the last decade.
Saskatchewan added nearly 900 more doctors and over 3,700 more nurses since 2007, and has gone from having the longest surgical wait time in Canada to being among the shortest. Home Care services have been expanded.
There are many other services available for seniors in our province. The booklet “Programs and Services of Interest to Seniors” can be picked up from our office, or accessed on line at
Our local seniors groups have enhanced our communities in many exceptional ways. I understand that these groups are facing challenges. As a community and a government, we continue to work with these organizations to help seniors stay active.
Canadian seniors volunteer more hours annually than any other age group. Saskatchewan as a whole has the highest rate of volunteerism in the country and we want these exceptional volunteers to be recognized appropriately. The 2019 Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal nominations are now being accepted. The Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal formally recognizes the selfless devotion of our province’s volunteers, and is a way to present role models to all Saskatchewan citizens. Christine Boyczuk of Moose Jaw was a well-deserving recipient of the 2018 Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal. The nomination deadline for 2019 is October 18.
Nominations are also being accepted for the 2020 Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Saskatchewan’s highest honour. The Saskatchewan Order of Merit was established to recognize excellence, achievement and contributions to the cultural, social and economic well-being of the province, either as a volunteer or as part of a career. The deadline to nominate someone for the Order of Merit is November 1, 2019.
Nominees for both awards must be a current or former long-term resident of Saskatchewan. Any individual or group can submit a nomination. For the Order of Merit, posthumous nominations are accepted within one year of an individual’s date of passing.
Presentations of these awards will be at ceremonies with the Lieutenant Governor in early 2020. Please consider nominating someone for one of these awards. To nominate someone, or to learn more, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/government/heritage-honours-and-awards . There may be several seniors that would qualify for being nominated in either of these special awards.
During this Seniors’ Week, let’s take the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the many positive contributions seniors make in our province, and say thank you to a senior.