Letter of the week: Where are our frail seniors to live?

ALC issue a crisis to patients, relatives
The Sudbury Star
Wed Jan 19 2011,Page: A11 
Column: Letters to the Editor

Re: "ALC a challenge, not crisis" -- Dec. 20.

I find it farcical that Denis Roy, the CEO of Sudbury Regional Hospital, says the alternate-level of-care issue is "not a crisis, but a challenge."

Anyone who is an advocate for an elderly parent now in the system knows the whole situation is indeed a "crisis" if you're in the midst of living it alongside your parent.

It certainly must be a challenging task to address as a health-care administrator, but anyone who is currently advocating for an elderly parent knows, it truly is a crisis.

How else do you explain a marked lack of long-term care beds for the very people who built this community into what it is today? They have paid taxes for more than 50 or 60 years and now have to worry continually about where they will live and who will care for them, even as they are facing serious physical health challenges.

What is more upsetting is that this crisis has been brewing for more than 10 years and is only now being addressed in a frantic manner. Demographically speaking, the situation will only worsen as the baby boomers age.

While I appreciate the funding that has been recently allotted to keeping seniors in their homes for as long as possible, there are many frail seniors who will not, and cannot, go home. Where are they to live?

On a human level, I would suggest that perhaps our hospital administrators, our Local Health Integration Network and our politicians spend more time speaking to the very people who are deemed "alternate level of care" to see how they feel about the situation, rather than opt for one more glorious photo op. Our seniors definitely deserve better.

Kim Fahner Sudbury 

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