Se­nior care or se­nior abuse?

The Southern Gazette - - EDITOR’S VIEWPOINT - Ed­i­tor; Sin­cerely a son and sib­lings who care, Rev. Lind­sey J. Burt (A spe­cial note of thanks to the staff, health care pro­fes­sion­als and home work­ers at the two great fa­cil­i­ties where my par­ents re­side – Pleas­ant View Manor and North Haven Manor in Lewi

I am the el­dest son, who along with my three sib­lings, are very con­cerned for the health and well-be­ing of our se­nior par­ents, who af­ter al­most 55 years of be­ing to­gether are forced to live in sep­a­rate se­nior fa­cil­i­ties, (a se­nior care home and a nurs­ing home) due to the fact the poli­cies on se­nior care does not al­low a hus­band and wife to live out their last years to­gether un­der the same roof, be­cause one may re­quire a lit­tle more care than the other.

As a re­sult and in this case, the one who has been as­sessed to not need the ex­tra care (my Dad) is not per­mit­ted to live in the same fa­cil­ity as the one who does need the care, (my Mom). This forced sep­a­ra­tion is more than cruel by a sys­tem that needs im­me­di­ate change.

This sep­a­ra­tion causes un­nec­es­sary stress – emo­tion­ally, men­tally and phys­i­cally – on the peo­ple who worked their whole lives to build our com­mu­ni­ties and this prov­ince, and now at a time when they re­ally need to be to­gether for sup­port, and com­pan­ion­ship, they can­not be.

I re­al­ize I am only one of the many who have these same con­cerns for our ag­ing par­ents. They, them­selves, are un­able to speak out for this needed change, but as their chil­dren and as peo­ple in po­si­tions of influence, we can and we should.

Surely in a age when we can put a man on the moon, live in space sta­tions in outer space for months at a time, com­mu­ni­cate at the touch of a but­ton around the globe by the use of small hand held phones and com­puter de­vices; we must be able to have a se­nior care sys­tem that al­lows and even en­cour­ages cou­ples who have been to­gether for their whole lives to continue to re­ceive health care un­der the same roof in their fi­nal years.

Please, pol­icy mak­ers, gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives and health care of­fi­cials, work with us to help our se­nior par­ents keep the vows they made when they started their lives to­gether ‘till death do us part’.

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