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Reform Care for The Elderly

It is time to think about and plan for alternatives to long term care for our frail elders whether through enhanced home care or creative living arrangements...

  • National Post (Latest Edition)

  • 4 Jul 2020

Re: How crowding killed hundreds, June 26 The fact that many longterm care homes house four people to a room should outrage us. Our elders have made incredible contributions to this country and we warehouse them for the last years of their lives. Simply not acceptable. The proposal that two people to a room would make long- term care more humane misses the reality of institutionalization — that congregation and regimentation does not enhance well- being at any age. Research shows that people’s health tends to decrease after they enter a nursing home. This is no surprise. It is time to think about and plan for alternatives to long- term care that enable our frail elders to agein- place, whether through enhanced home- care or creative living arrangements. You do not fix long- term care by tinkering with the same old model. It is time to embrace a new model and for Ontario to slow down the institutionalization of frail elders, the way it did when it closed institutions for people with developmental disabilities. John Lord, Waterloo, Ont. I have no doubt that fewer people in a nursing home room would have reduced the number of horrific deaths reported in longterm care facilities, especially in the for- profit institutions. But is that really the solution? The institutional model itself is the problem regardless of room capacity, and no incremental improvements will cease the difficulties that institutions create in the field of care for others. We need small l ocal homes, shared- care options, flexible funding and hugely expanded home- care services to keep people out of institutions. We need to walk away from the for- profit model which proved to be the most problematic model in the LTC system. Most of the talk from so- called experts and from academic studies such as the one quoted in this article simply move the deck chairs around without really looking at comprehensive systemic reform of elder care. Who amongst us are really proud of the treatment of older people in care — the very care that we ourselves are likely to be offered in our time of need? Douglas Cartan, Mallorytown, Ont.

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