SALTAlberta’s Carol Wodak Interview
Interviewed by The Family Councils Collaborative Alliance (FCCA) our goal is to work with Family Councils to provide information on the issues that are impacting their loved ones and we are using the platform of the The LTC (Long Term Care) Chronicles to discuss and promote these issues. We want to have a discussion that will effect change and have families part of the discussion.
My year-end review of legislation is going more slowly that I had hoped, but probably by the end of the week. So you have more time to consider your nomination for the worst, the most sneaky, the most mean and petty work of the UCP government.
I do hope you’ll share! I will not be identifying contributors – does that help?
The Work in Progress during this week is a review of the 77 government pieces of legislation enacted since the UCP was elected. At the half-way mark, it does appear to be a concerted effort to unravel a century of progress with social programs and the administration of justice.
Some changes are really sneaky – an effect only obvious as the legislation is enacted, and the regulations revealed. [ Like, additional policing to control rural crime – if the costs are covered by the municipalities.]
Do you have a notable example of legislation which challenges or changes our values and civil rights?
Which change is doing the greatest harm?
The most mean and petty? [deindexing AISH is my choice for this category]
Let me know… for our year-end wrap=up!
An Edmonton woman in her 50s is the second health-care worker to die from COVID-19 in Alberta.
Health Minster Tyler Shandro announced the death Tuesday, saying his thoughts go out to the family of the woman. This is the second death Shandro has reported among health-care workers in the past 48 hours. Joe Corral, a health-care aide in Calgary, was the first known death.
Queen’s University’s School of Policy Studies established a working group early in the COVID-19 pandemic tasked with analyzing its
implications for the long-term care dimensions of the health sector.
What Seniors Want
The great majority of seniors want to age well and in place, in homes and communities they can call their own. They want to be able to choose where they live and the structure of their living arrangements.
You Should Get What You Want More Often
Far too many Canadian seniors get placed where they do not want to be and do not age well. Many remain in alternative level of care beds in hospitals for long periods and are then placed in long-term care homes (LTC-homes). Between one-in-nine and one-in-five seniors in LTC facilities could do well with home care, a living arrangement that would suit them better and be a lot less expensive for them and society.
Post-pandemic Reviews of Long-Term Care Facilities Need to Consider a Broader Context
They must embrace and deliver on what seniors want. They must recognize the coming surge in seniors, especially of older cohorts. The number of seniors increased by 4.2 million over the past 38 years. Over the next 22 years Canada will need to accommodate the needs of another 4.2 million, of whom 82 percent will be 75 years of age and older, sharply increasing the median age and with it the complexity and cost of seniors’ care.
If we learn anything from COVID-19, it should be that we need a more comprehensive version of public health that acts on what we know about the social determinants of well-being.
It was never expected to be easy, grappling with a global pandemic as grave as COVID-19. In its early days in Canada, during our spring of silent shock, we powered down our economy, stayed home as much as we could, and hoped that our collective sacrifice would buy our governments and health care systems the time needed to prepare, strategize and not get overwhelmed by another wave.
The shutdown period challenged us in many ways. The social deprivation and break from “normal” made us anxious, depressed, lonely. More broadly, the inability to have everyone shelter down exposed inequities built into our economic, social and health care systems. The unequal and unfair impact of COVID-19 exposed the failure of years of neoliberal austerity that purposely diminished the role of the public service in areas critical to health and well-being. Our governments’ false belief that the private sector would pick up the slack left us unprepared for a pandemic.
The springtime television images of an army coming to rescue ailing elders and staff in long-term care facilities was a tragic symbol of this systemic failure. There were similar damning moments as COVID-19 ripped through migrant worker camps, meat-packing plants and low-income, often racialized communities. These communities were exposed to the greatest risks of a deadly virus without the protections afforded the privileged, those of us with private means.
If we could not protect the most susceptible people from COVID-19, what did that say about us, our governments, our institutions? Why were we not able to plan for a pandemic that was always a question of when, not if?