Once again our armed forces have saved us, this time from our blindness to the plight of seniors living in long term care (LTC) homes. Often referred to as nursing homes, these facilities house our most medically vulnerable seniors, those who require the most care.
The forces report submitted to the federal government describes a merciless state of affairs wherein the oldest of our society are subjected to the most suffering and depraved conditions. It describes social isolation akin to solitary confinement, personal care tantamount to abuse and fatality rates of about 80% of all COVID-19 cases nationally.
For too long an empathy gap has existed in our treatment of seniors. The adage “out of sight, out of mind” evolved for more than 25 years. This gap is reflected in a recent international study of long term care in Canada wherein the highest proportion of virus deaths ranks us as the worst of 14 countries globally.
Corroboration of this desperate state of affairs is found in a Toronto area LTC home where the police are now investigating criminal negligence for failing to provide the necessities to residents.
The necessity of having to bring in the army and the police is an odious indicator of elder care in Canada.
As a local senior care advocacy group, we join with others across the province calling for a full public inquiry into the state of LTC homes. It has been a cumulative lack of accountability from experts within government ministries who have shepherded the care of vulnerable elderly to this disastrous state. The time is now to close the empathy gap.
Premier Ford, show you care. Create a full public inquiry.
Roger Gallaway, Arlene Patterson, Andrew Bolter, Margaret Bell, Jennifer Mullins
Community Legal Assistance Sarnia
201 Front St. N., Suite 407, Sarnia, ON N7T 7T9
519-332-8055; 1-888-916-2527; Fax 519-336-0830
Navigating Senior Care Lambton