Speech - Milo Vassallo (Canada)
Mr Milo Vassallo spoke on the challenges of an ageing society in Canada. He reflected on the present situation in the world and paid homage to the older folk generally who had gone through many hardships and sacrifices that brought for us a safer and stable world which we still enjoy in our present time. Because we understand the struggles faced by our parents, grandparents and great grandparents, we in our turn must face up to the challenge and continue to act in a responsible and compassionate way when dealing with our senior population.
Care for the aged has improved over the years, and the advancement in medical research and adequate treatment for the elderly has resulted in a longer life expectancy and inevitably a considerable increase in the number of people over the age of 65 years. The Canadian Government fully supports further research into the causes and treatment of age-related diseases and illness. Early detection prevents chronic diseases among seniors, and they are further helped by healthier and more educated lifestyles. They are in a better physical and mental condition than their own parents ever were, and therefore they continue to be active for much longer.
The financial status of our seniors has improved considerably in recent decades. For many it has been possible to invest funds through their privately owned residence, savings, adequate pensions, and Government assistance. The improved economic situation of today's seniors is a definite indicator that adults will be better prepared for retirement and live well into their eighties. Having knowledge and fear that they may suffer neglect by their own family members in their old age, it is reasonable to adopt a way of planning ahead to ensure a comfortable living when they grow old.
As in other developed countries, Canada has its own provision and caring programmes for the elderly, as well as direct help to those in dire need. The Maltese and other ethnic migrants are included in the care offered by several agencies and social policies which have been established to look after the needs of the senior community in that country. The speaker ended by reminding everyone of the necessity that we look after our older generations and set precedents for generations to follow.
Source: 'Malta' - Maltese Culture Movement, Issues 4,5,6, 2000.