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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Our seniors, discarded in neglect...

  Elder abuse is an issue that hits close to home for me.  My father is a senior citizen, and my mother will become one in a few years.  They both have spouses, careers, and live independently, but there are many their age who don't.  My father will turn eighty in 2017, and that forces me to admit that my childhood is long over, and my parents will soon need my help the way I needed theirs.

  Most nursing homes and retirement homes in Ontario are well run, with excellent, caring staff.  Working as a nurse or an aid in a nursing home is tough, demanding work, and a lot of people would refuse to do what they do for a living.  If you work caring for the elderly, and you try your best every day, my heart goes out to you.

  Sadly, though, the province of Ontario hasn't done everything possible to make sure all seniors get the care they deserve.  Most elder care facilities are excellent, but thanks to a Toronto Star investigation, we know that a few facilities slip through the cracks.  And, with an aging population, elder abuse is becoming a bigger and bigger issue.

  On Friday, the Star published a story about one facility, the In Touch retirement home, near Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue West in Toronto.  See .

  Dale Brazao went undercover for a week, posing as a new 'resident'.  What he found was horrifying.  The place wasn't supposed to be a nursing home, and more than half of In Touch's 'residents' are in need of constant medical supervision.  

  The food 'residents' would be served would not just be lacking nutrition,  but eggs and beef stew were found being stored on top of, instead of inside of, the refrigerator in the big kitchen where residents' meals are made.

  'Residents' would go without toilet paper for months, and a typical toilet would be smeared in feces, seldom cleaned.

  'Residents' would be left sitting in urine soaked diapers for days.  

  Often, when a frail 'resident' would fall, it would take HOURS for them to get any help.

  The poor people who work there are paid well under Ontario's minimum wage of $10.50/hour.

  And, according to Dale's investigation, here's the woman behind all of this, In Touch retirement home's owner, Elaine Lindo.

 If you read more about Dale Brazao's investigation, it appears that Ms. Lindo has also been intimidating some of her 'residents', and collecting rent from them AFTER THEY'RE DEAD.  Here's all of the articles I could find about this in the Toronto Star:

 If you live around Weston and Lawrence Avenue West, you might see Ms. Lindo at the supermarket or walking down the street.

 If you see her, do me a favour and confront her.  Don't be violent or do anything else illegal.  But approach her, and demand answers to tough questions.  If you make it clear to Ms. Lindo that this kind of abuse and neglect in unacceptable, she'll know that she can't hide this shit any longer.

Ontario's Minister of Seniors, Minister Sophia Aggelonitis, was interviewed by the Star, and she said she was saddened and disturbed by what's going on at In Touch. 

 I wish there was a criminal investigation into the matter.

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