National Post (National Edition)

`We can and must do better'


Re: Will we never learn? Sharon Kirkey, Dec. 19

Thanks to Sharon Kirkey and the National Post for telling it like it is. Ageism and ableism are at the root of the institutio­nalization for profit of elders and people with disabiliti­es.

When one government after another allows large real estate investment trusts to buy up land and get awarded “beds” so that they can pay big dividends to shareholde­rs, is it any wonder that we have factory-style assembly-line care that is bad for residents and those who work with them?

Ontario is so far behind other more progressiv­e jurisdicti­ons in the world that we must appear a laughingst­ock to them, were the outcomes not so incredibly tragic. Shirley Egerdeen's story is one of so many that breaks our hearts.

No one should have to end up in a human warehouse that is a vector for infection and death. If Ontario actually placed its funding emphasis where it should be — keeping people at home, or at the very least in small non-profit community residences where they could be safe and be afforded personaliz­ed care, aging would not have to be something to be dreaded as it is now.

We can do so much better.

Dr. Patricia Spindel, Ajax, Ont.

Maybe this is the story that will finally open people's eyes. There's been many, but no real change. What will it take?

Profit has no place in the care of our elders, those we should value most, not least. Our elders helped build this country and what thanks do we give them? Treatment that, if happening in other sectors like daycares, schools or even animal shelters, would be chargeable offences.

How do we fix this? Invest in our elders. Invest in home care that works for people. Support families, so people age in place. Only then, will the demand for these warehouses stop.

Currently, when families can no longer support their loved ones, there is no alternativ­e but a system that rose out of poor houses of years gone by. We can and must do better.

Joyce Balaz, London, Ont.

 ??  ?? The story of Shirley Egerdeen is “one of so many that breaks our hearts,” Dr. Patricia Spindel writes.
The story of Shirley Egerdeen is “one of so many that breaks our hearts,” Dr. Patricia Spindel writes.

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