Invest more in senior care

A writer asks the provincial government to give back to the seniors who have given so much.

Dear Editor,

Just a few comments/observations on the latest articles on the state of health care in our area.

If any of you have had personal experience of the delivery of health care in our hospital or Kamloops, please make your experience known to the all-party Select Standing Committee. We owe it to ourselves to make our views heard.

I think we’d be better off spending our efforts and money on increasing funding for home support workers rather than more doctors. Why should we waste the doctors’ valuable time by going to them when we’re perfectly healthy with no problems?

We need to increase the number of assisted living/seniors’ housing units in our community, and upgrade the ones we have so that they are more user-friendly for seniors with mobility issues. The current independent living suites in Thompson View Manor should all be upgraded and equipped with handicap showers, instead of regular bathtubs that become a hazard to seniors once they have any kind of critical incident that impairs their mobility.

I would like Health Minister Terry Lake to invest in our seniors’ care instead of pouring more money into making it easier for drug addicts to continue their bad habits. Our seniors today are the people who contributed to the health of this country, and who very rarely asked for help from the government for anything. They felt it was their duty and responsibility to fight for the rights of Canada and the free world. They worked tirelessly for their communities to make them better and safer places to live.

How do we repay them? By making them feel guilty for asking for help when they’re vulnerable, and less able to look after themselves than when they were young and vibrant and looking after their families tirelessly, nursing their children through measles, mumps, and all the other childhood diseases that were common in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s.

This was done, for the most part, without visiting the doctor’s office. When I was a child in the ’50s and ’60s my mother and father only took us to the doctor if we were very ill/injured, which was very rare: all 12 of us grew up in the fresh air of country living, and are still alive and well. We were not a burden on the health care system, and still aren’t, and we’re still paying into it through many levels of government taxing and fees.

With our children and spouses and grandchildren we now number close to 100 productive, taxpaying citizens. Is it too much to ask that our dear little 97-year-old mother receive some assistance by way of assisted living or residential care? Apparently it is, because we’ve been unable to get the people in power in Interior Health to even consider reassessing our mother’s needs.

Terry Lake should thank his lucky stars that rural people are, for the most part, hardier than their suburban counterparts. They look after their own and are very resourceful in taking care of one another. It doesn’t matter that their education levels and annual income are less! Their hearts are bigger and more caring. They know each other by name, and not a number! Interior Health should look at their practice of numbering people in their facilities and forgetting that these numbers are human beings who are someone’s mother, father, daughter, sister, or brother, and they have a name!

Canada fought the likes of Hitler in the Second World War for his inhumane treatment of Jewish people, who all had a number branded on their wrists. Maybe we should remember that.

Betty Morrison