It took the coronavirus pandemic to open our eyes to the deplorable state of so many of the nation's long-term care homes: the inhumane conditions, overworked and underpaid staff, and lack of oversight. In this timely new book, esteemed health reporter Andrï¿½ Picard reveals the full extent of the crisis in eldercare, and offers an urgently needed prescription to fix a broken system.
When COVID-19 spread through seniors' residences across Canada, the impact was horrific. Along with widespread illness and a devastating death toll, the situation exposed a decades-old crisis: the shocking systemic neglect towards our elders.
Called in to provide emergency care in some of the hardest-hit facilities in Ontario and Quebec, the military issued damning reports of what they encountered. And yet, the failings that were exposed--unappetizing meals, infrequent baths, overmedication, physical abuse and inadequate personal care--have persisted for years in these institutions.
In Neglected No More
, Andrï¿½ Picard takes a hard look at how we came to embrace mass institutionalization, and lays out what can and must be done to improve the state of care for our elders, a highly vulnerable population with complex needs and little ability to advocate for themselves.
Picard shows that the entire eldercare system--fragmented, underfunded and unsupported--is long overdue for a fundamental rethink. We need to find ways to ensure seniors can age gracefully in the community for longer, with supportive home care and respite for family caregivers, and ensure that long-term care homes are not warehouses of isolation and neglect. Our elders deserve nothing less.