We’re very fortunate here in BC. We’re standing strong together. We’re seeing extraordinary generosity and sacrifice to keep each other safe.
We’ve seen great leadership emerge at every level, from all levels of government, from our members across BC, our advocacy partners, right down to the neighbourhood, family, and individual levels.
We also need to confront that despite our best efforts, despite all that we’ve accomplished and despite the great work of so many, things are not OK for too many in our community.
Many British Columbians are wrestling with fear, loneliness, and insecurity, but those with disabilities face an additional worry of whether their lives will be seen to matter if they get sick. So far we’re seeing excellent care and assurances from the top, but we need to ensure that’s the reality for all at the frontlines of our health care system.
We’re especially worried about the families who have had to step up in this time of physical and social distancing to fill in for closed schools, services, and community support programs.
These families have been asked to provide complex care and support for children, youth and adults with intellectual disabilities, 24/7, for an indefinite period of time, with very limited assistance.
Families caring for people with critical health needs can’t even get basic medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to keep their loved ones safe.
Many of these families were already struggling and on the verge of crisis before COVID-19.
We’re now asking them to do even more, and families are being crushed by these unrealistic demands.
We need to urgently re-direct social supports to the families who have had to take on providing 24/7 critical care for children, youth, and adults with complex needs in the home setting.
This is a key focus of our current advocacy and collaborative work with governments and community partners in the coming weeks. I’m asking all British Columbians to support us in ensuring that we don’t leave our most vulnerable families behind.