Opinion

Crisis in old age living

As you all know we are getting older and living longer, but I think what most of us don’t know is there is all ready a crisis when it comes to old age homes.

Unless you have $4,000-$5,000 a month to spend on an old age facility, (that’s if there is a bed available) you have to go on a long waiting list for a subsidize bed.

Vancouver Island has been hit 10 times worse with this crisis as the people from the North and other provinces retire and move here for the better weather and lifestyle. It is putting a heavy burden on the system as they need to go in homes.

VIHA and the government of B.C. have done very little about this situation and this is only the beginning of the Baby Boomers. It will only get worse unless we start pressuring the government to do something and it might possibly be too late now.

The fast pace of Canada and the need to have both parents in a family work to make a living and try and raise a family at the same time won’t allow our children the time to look after us in our old age. There are no incentives to help us out if we choose to look after our parents in our homes and it is very hard and stressful on the family when they do. There is also less help from homecare and VIHA will make it harder to qualify for your parent to get in to a home.

VIHA wants to keep the elderly in their homes and provide services for them, which is fine for the people that can still look after themselves. They are leaving people that are sick and have dementia and really need 24 seven care. They are in their homes alone by themselves in danger of falling or causing a fire or wandering away from their homes getting lost or even dying from the cold or worse.

These people need the care or can’t feed themselves but refuse the help because they are proud or so demented they don’t know any better. They are not allowed to force the help on them. These people are home alone and scared and cold and don’t know when their last meal was or even their last drink of water.

If we treated our animals like we treat our elderly we would be charged for animal cruelty as fast as we could blink our eyes, but it is okay to do this to our parents, aunts and uncles and no one makes a stink about it.

I know that the people that go out to the homes from homecare really care and see a lot of these abuses and can’t do anything for fear of losing their jobs if they report too much. If they do it only goes on deaf ears. This is because there is no money no hospital beds, no beds in care homes no help for our elderly.

Ask yourself do you want to die alone, scared and cold, is this right? This is what the future brings for most of us as we get old?

I hope I have opened your eyes and scared the hell out of you; it’s time to make this an important issue in your life. We need to make lots of noise and get some help for these people.

Tim Samuels

Campbell River

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