By Letter to the Editor on May 6, 2020.
I watch with horror the anguish, fear, uncertainty and loss of life of our elders living in nursing homes. My late mother lived in assisted-living facilities and nursing homes for many years and it was not a good experience.
These institutions are grossly underfunded, resulting in shortage of personal-care staff. The care staff is unable to provide necessary care of the residents. These low-salaried individuals are rushed, exhausted due to overwork, often irritable and impatient. Consequently the residents suffer. The provincial governments believe that seniors have no power or clout (they are too incapacitated to raise their bleak voices or go on strike) hence keep them on the lowest priority list for providing adequate funding.
I am not entirely surprised at the extreme crisis in nursing homes due to the COVID-19 epidemic. With the high level of demands on the system in nursing homes, the already inadequate care has succumbed to a new low level. The emergency created by COVID-19 has aggravated the pre-existing deficiencies.
COVID-19 is a wakeup call. Our parents raised us to the best of their abilities and made sacrifices to ensure a good future for us. To neglect them at their hour of need, close to the end of their lives, is immoral. Any society that does not nurture and honour its roots cannot flourish materially or spiritually.