$25-per-month wheelchair fee is only fair

There's nothing wrong with seniors having to pitch in.

It’s nice to get on the bandwagon for seniors being charged $25 rent for wheelchairs in care homes. But people should know some of the things already going on first.

My brother has been in a Fraser Health care home for two years now. It just happened that he paid over $1,000 for a wheelchair just before he collapsed and ended up in Surrey Memorial Hospital and then the care home. He had never even sat in it before his collapse as it was delivered just a couple days earlier.

Since he owns it, he has to pay all cushion costs and wheelchair repairs himself out of his $200 per month “comfort fund.”

Also, because he is on dialysis three times a week at Surrey Memorial Hospital, he has to pay HandyDart over $50 per month out of his comfort fund. He doesn’t have much left for comforts.

I see no reason why all the others in this Fraser Health care home cannot afford $25 per month for the use of publicly owned wheelchairs.

Because seniors are old does not mean they are broke. I am a senior too, and seniors just don’t need much money. We are too tired to travel, don’t need anything much in everyday material things, don’t go out to socialize much, don’t have car expenses, don’t need stylish clothes, no children to support, etc., etc.

The cry for “poor seniors,” from all that I have seen, is not necessary. With so many old people and handicapped people nowadays dependent on the taxpayers, and in today’s economic situation, I see nothing wrong with seniors pitching in too. The cost of $25 per month to help with the wheelchairs is nothing.

Wheelchairs that are the property of Fraser Health also need cushions and repairs. We have already paid $700 and $900 for two cushions for my brother.

So I want fairness, just as Fraser Health is doing by adding this fee.


Marg Novak

Surrey North Delta Leader

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