Stop punishing PWD and seniors for the mess you made

Last week, I talked about Doug Ford wanting to force PWD and seniors into long-term care (LTC) homes. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a few days following the announcement, he said that those who refused to be transferred to a LTC would be forced to pay the costs of continuing to stay in a hospital.

When I first heard about this, I was speechless. To be honest, I’m still struggling to find the words. Also, there are the emotional and mental health aspects.

How are PWD supposed to feel in a situation like this?

Judging by social media and conversations, most PWD are scared and angry and feel that we’re being tossed aside.

I very much agree and have the same feelings.

Doug Ford’s idea supposedly is an attempt to free up hospital beds. Now, I do agree that we need to free up space. However, it shouldn’t come down to kicking out those most vulnerable.

We don’t suddenly wake up and say, hey, I miss eating Jello, so I’m going to the hospital for Jello and to hang out for a few days.

Hospital patients don’t want to be there. Hell, even most nurses no longer want to be there, either. I don’t blame them.

If Doug Ford truly wants to free up hospital beds, other issues should be addressed instead of pointing your finger at PWD and seniors.

Off the top of my head, gun violence plays a significant role in taking up hospital space. Recently, there’s been an increase in shootings and stabbings.

Where are the police? Once again, we’re faced with a lack of police presence in the ByWard Market and similar troubled areas. If there were more police and better gun laws, more hospital beds would be available.

To those wanting to defund the police, I understand the reasons, and I agree to a certain point. However, when it comes to the police being able to prevent others from needing to go to the ER and then being in the hospital for a few days, or weeks, my opinion starts to change.

We all need to do better in avoiding a trip to the hospital when possible.

While I’m on the subject, I need to mention homeless people.

Regularly, homeless shelters quickly fill up, which in turn means that many have no choice but to live on the streets, which is extremely dangerous, especially during the winter.

To decrease the number of homeless people needing to go to the hospital, there needs to be an increase in low-income housing and more shelters and health services for them.

In case someone mentions it, I am aware that some homeless people don’t feel safe being at a shelter. I have friends that have shared several horrific stories with me. It makes me sad and angry that our government is causing problems to become worse.

When it comes to freeing up hospital beds, it can be done. PWD and seniors aren’t the ones that Doug Ford should be targeting.

People age. That’s just the way life rolls on. We shouldn’t be forced to be locked away in a LTC home just because we’re old. We should be celebrating and spending time with our loved ones.

While I’m not a senior, I am a PWD who happens to want the same things, both now and when I become a senior.

Why do we need to fight yet another thing that most take for granted? It should be evident that we should all be able to stay in our homes, whatever that may mean.

We have a right to feel safe and comfortable and to receive good care for those who need extra help.

While not all LTC places are bad, we know that many are poorly run, resulting in unacceptable living conditions and overworked caregivers.

We deserve better than to be locked away against our will.

Photo: iStock