Sunday, May 11, 2008

Seniors Need transportation to Calgary hospitals

Airdrie City View: Letters to the Editor: May 9 2008
(Airdrie) Seniors Need transportation to Calgary hospitals

Dear editor
I would like to bring to your attention the plight of the senior citizens in Airdrie who need transportation to and from Calgary to visit family members who are in hospital or confined elsewhere due to illness.

My husband has been confined to the Peter Lougheed General Hospital in Calgary and will be there for quite some time. I have to depend on the kindness of friends to take me in to visit him during the day as there is absolutely no way of getting transportation into Calgary other than a taxi at the cost of $90.00 to
$100.00 return trip. The Cardinal Seniors Handibus, which runs twice weekly to Calgary, is for medical appointments only. For that reason people in my situation do not qualify.

It is very important to the psychological well being of a patient in hospital to have the presence of family members by their side. This is very frustrating to say the least and more so when it can be for a long period of time. I am not alone with this problem as there are many other residents, not only seniors, in this same predicament. There are many residents who do not drive or who do not have a vehicle at their disposal. With a city this size which is experiencing continuing growth, there will be many more seniors with the same transportation problem as it is not going to go away.

This situation needs to be addressed now. I’m urging people to phone, email or write to the mayor, aldermen and the City’s transit department.

Changes will be made with enough public support. Does this mean we need a petition? If so, it can be arranged. Remember the motto, “United We Stand.”

- Jill Coombs, Airdrie

Monday, May 05, 2008

Attitudes towards children with disabilities need improvement, parents say

"Attitudes towards children with disabilities need improvement, parents say

Although our communities have come a spectacularly long way over the years when it comes to including kids with disabilities, barriers persist, say people who deal with such issues daily."

Last Updated: Friday, May 2, 2008 | 12:33 PM ET
By Lisa Bendall CBC News

It should have been an exciting milestone in the life of her child. Instead, due to a simple piece of hardware, the first day of kindergarten was for Kim Bell the beginning of a series of frustrating battles with regulators and red tape.

Ian Bell's entrance into kindergarten in Winnipeg ran into a glitch when school administrators didn't want his walker brought on the school bus, saying it was dangerous.

Ian has cerebral palsy.

Bell was faced with a choice: Shell out close to $500 for a second walker to keep at school, or drive to the school every day herself with the mobility device in her back seat.

Neither option sat well.

"I went to the superintendent. I went to the school trustee. I went to the provincial Department of Education," remembers Bell.

She pored over the education guidelines and determined that no policy existed for this type of situation. "I suggested, 'Can't we just tie it down with a bungee cord?'"

Finally, after weeks of perseverance, Bell received a response from the school's transportation department. The bungee cord system had been accepted.

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