Who will stand up for our seniors?

Is it a government that created a system of regulations with few specific enforceable standards?

To the editor;

Who is responsible for the neglect of our seniors? Is it a government that created a system of regulations with few specific enforceable standards, or the citizens who have chosen not to protest against it?

And is our failure to protest due to a lack of knowledge, or concern?

Are we all unaware that the Senior Health Care System has been steadily declining for the last 20 years?  Do we know that this is due to a system with few benchmarks that have to be met by the Ministry, the Health Authorities, or even the facility operator?

That the Health Authorities system of “progressive compliance” gives more consideration to an incompetent operator than to their seniors? That this system allows a facility to commit infractions such as neglect, poor food, uncleanliness or inappropriate staff, over the course of two to three years with no consequences other than a written warning?

People who neglect their animals are penalized, and yet the government refuses to fine facilities for neglecting our seniors despite the fact that the Ombudsman recommended that they do so.

Why do we not realize that many seniors are just as helpless and vulnerable as children?

Government recently changed the regulations that govern child care facilities to protect our children, and yet they have failed to do so for our seniors. Why are we not voicing our outrage on behalf of our seniors?

Have the citizens of this province allowed this government to intimidate us to the point that we are too afraid to fight for our loved ones? Or did we decide that fighting injustice takes too much time and effort?

History has shown us that “the people” can change government. That “the people” do collectively have the power to make their government accountable. So why aren’t we?

If we do not protest the government neglect of our seniors, we are just as responsible for it as they are.

If we allow this decline in Senior Health Care to continue, the conditions in these facilities will be even worse in the future for many of you that are reading this letter.

Please phone the Ombudsman with a request for the report they published concerning this issue for more information. Then, voice your opinions by phoning the Office of the new Senior Advocate, Isobel MacKenzie at: 1-877-952-3181, or email to: info@seniorsadvocate.bc.ca

Judy Galley

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