Lack of affordable seniors’ residences and elder care facilities must be addressed

 In Letters, Opinion


Our municipality, and indeed the entire region, needs to act immediately to solve the issue of the quickly dwindling number of affordable senior residences and elder care facilities.

If the pandemic taught us anything it was that we couldn’t save the vulnerable elderly people trapped behind glass in care centres, many of us viewing them with angst as we envisioned our own ultimate demise while stuck in warehouses of the old and fragile of society. Yes this will be us.

Many people today are hovering on the brink of retirement with a far smaller financial nest egg than will support them for the duration of their old age. Past articles in The Star have alluded to the fact that many boomers have miscalculated how far their pensions and government supplements will carry them as they will require ever more medical care and support through their old age… especially as they are living longer.

The ads that we frequently see show happy celebratory wine drinking old folks who are ensconced in private care facilities but they are paying upwards of $6,000 per month each to live in a small room with meals provided. If they require “memory care” it may be up to $10,000 per month per person. A basic cost is quickly padded as medications and treatments are added and not supplied by government.

These are shocking figures and I can assure you that they are real.

If those less financially fortunate expect to go into a publicly funded institution and live in a private room, they will be out of luck. They will stay in dorm style rooms.

Private elder care facilities are profitable investment industries in our economy simply because they charge high fees and don’t offer any more care than not-for- profit centres.

As the pandemic proved, our aging parents were no better off in for-profit centres, and in fact had less protection and oversight than government operated senior care centres.

Those not-for-profit centres are now disappearing.

And if those more fortunate older people who feel that they have set aside enough funds to support themselves, and perhaps think that they might actually bequeath money to their children, they may be surprised to find there is little, if anything, left.

We must press our provincial government to fulfil the promises made during the pandemic and stop spending money on questionable projects while elderly care facilities, hospitals and schools are left once again at the bottom rung of the premier’s ladder.

Marion Bartlett,


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