To the Editor,
I recently had my mother stay in a long term facility and found quite a few areas of concern, a few of which I’ll attempt to cover.
While some governments are incapable of running health-related facilities, it has been proven that private enterprise has failed in long-term care homes.
This country needs three types of care facilities for the elderly: independent living, assisted living and long-term care. The units should not be lumped together for simplicity of management as each holds a completely different level of senior.
Many seniors opt to sell their home and adjust to independent living without the problems associated with a home. They are healthy and mentally alert. Other seniors find that they cannot manage on their own and require someone to cook, clean, bath, and escort them on their daily outings. long-term care is self-explanatory. These three groups need different facilities and different levels of professionally trained care staff.
Seniors can move between these facilities, as their health needs change.
long-term care should be associated with a medical facility such as a hospital so that professional, immediate care, and end-of-life management is handled with dignity and compassion.
However, government-run facilities must be held accountable with frequent inspections and assessments of staff and their needs. Higher wages and certified training will encourage people to work in these centres.
Families should be consulted on the care of their relatives and not left behind locked doors with no input. Social workers need to be available to assist families in their decision-making.