Citizens With Disabilities - Ontario


Health Minister's Comments Troubling

Health Minister George Smitherman's remarks (concerning adult 'diapers') led me to question his understanding and concern towards long-term care (LTC) in Ontario.

Many senior citizens in long-term care facilities wear incontinent undergarments, unable to get to the washroom due to physical and/or mental incapacities.

Dependency on staff for toileting results in residents being left for prolonged periods in this humiliating situation, due to unreasonable workloads and a staffing formula that does not meet a reasonable level of care.

For Mr. Smitherman to volunteer to wear these garments in order to understand this crisis only serves to trivialize a very serious situation.

In 2003, Mr. Smitherman vowed to change LTC in this province.

How can the dietary needs of residents be met on $7 per day per resident? How are residents to survive our increasingly hot and humid summers when air conditioning is not a requirement in residents' rooms? How do you control the spread of infection when the required standard of two baths per week per resident is rarely met?

These examples just scratch the surface of a system that requires major restructuring.

Those of us on family councils and other advocacy groups will continue to bring these issues to the minister, however we require the support of the community at large.

Now is the time when we can demand change. We can make a difference if we want to. It's time to speak up.

Scott Spearn

Family council chairman

Article ID# 945130

Reproduced from

More Mental Health articles.