World Senior Citizen’s Day was originally founded by former president Ronald Regan in 1988. The goal of this day is to remind various governments of its “ commitment to support senior citizens of the country”. Well, I don’t think we have done very well…
Dr. Samir Sinha wrote an article for Toronto Life, titled “ The post-pandemic future: We will stop warehousing older people in care homes” and highlighted a number of issues that deserve summarizing:
- We have more seniors than children yet there are nine times as many pediatricians as geriatricians (note: he estimates that are only 304 geriatricians in Canada)
- Canada spends 30% less of it is GDP on long term care than comparative industrialized countries
- Our older residences encourage over crowding with two, three or four persons in a shared room
- 70% of those living in long term care homes have dementia and of these- 50% have ‘behaviourial’ issues
- It costs approximately $182 /day for someone in long term care and $103/day for at home care
If we are to provide awareness, I think dignity and respect have to be the key messages. The awareness is that this is a challenged group and one that is not upper most in our policy makers/politician’s agendas. This is a group that often finds themselves alone, isolated and forgotten. COVID certainly brought out the worse of what many seniors fear when considering their care options. I for one don’t want to end my days in long term care. I think we need choices and as baby boomers we need to be part of the solution. I would love to hear your ideas and welcome your feedback.