We need changes in se­nior care

The Hamilton Spectator - - COMMENT -

RE: Res­i­dent beaten at St. Joseph’s Villa (Feb. 3)

Our sym­pa­thy goes out to the man who was beaten in his bed­room at St. Joseph’s Villa. We also ap­pre­ci­ate the un­der­stand­ing that his fam­ily has shown in not press­ing charges against the per­son who beat him, rec­og­niz­ing that the lat­ter did not have the ca­pac­ity to un­der­stand his ac­tions.

Th­ese kinds of in­ci­dents are not the f ault of the per­son with de­men­tia, but rather our fail­ure as a so­ci­ety. We need al­ter­nate ap­proaches to pro­vid­ing Long Term/Nurs­ing Home Care. There are many car­ing and com­mit­ted in­di­vid­u­als work­ing in th­ese homes who are do­ing their very best to sup­port in­di­vid­u­als who have in­creas­ingly com­plex needs. Large, con­gre­gate set­tings where 87 per cent of the res­i­dents have some form of cog­ni­tive im­pair­ment, can no longer be the only ap­proach to res­i­den­tial care. Smaller, home­like set­tings have been shown to re­duce be­hav­iours and in­crease qual­ity of life. There are also mod­els of clus­ter care where in­di­vid­u­als liv­ing in an apart­ment build­ing have ac­cess to reg­u­lar sup­port through­out the day.

“The true mea­sure of any so­ci­ety can be found in how it treats its most vul­ner­a­ble mem­bers.” (Ma­hatma Gandhi) Mary Bur­nett, CEO Alzheimer So­ci­ety Foun­da­tion Brant Haldimand Nor­folk Hamilton Hal­ton

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