THE TAIT DEBATE: Military report on nursing home conditions … and a collective look in the mirror?

Imagine you’re hungry and want to finish your dinner. You can’t feed yourself. After just a few bites the person feeding you decides, on your behalf, your appetite has been met and — all of a sudden — stops feeding you and takes you back to your room.

The person — paid to assist you and make sure your basic human fundamental needs are met — writes in your chart you were not hungry.

Or, imagine you tell someone you need to answer nature’s call and, politely, ask for help. But they tell you that you just went, and they’re not going to help you.

Or, imagine being given medication which is outdated.

It’s hard to imagine such inhuman treatment.

But sadly and as incredible as those three scenarios and many more are occurring in Ontario nursing homes. Isolated incidents?
Absolutely not.

It’s a world-wide issue — something many of us have turned our eyes away from, and put our ears on mute. Meanwhile, white elephants in countless rooms freely romp allowing the abuse, the neglect and, most disturbingly, the disrespect to mercifully continue.

It has required a lethal global pandemic — COVID-19 — and this country’s most powerful patriots — the Canadian Armed Forces — to expose what truly goes on behind closed doors in nursing homes and extended care centres.

How profoundly … sad.

To meet increasingly needs in nursing homes, the Armed Forces went in to help. They witnessed a war, on Canadian soil, and an assault on our pioneers — the very men and women who have built this nation.

Instead of paying homage and gratitude in their golden years, many live in conditions normally seen in a Stephen King horror.
It was one of the toughest and agonizing reads I have laid my eyes to as I read the report online Wednesday.

It is an incredible shame, though, the thousands of nurses and health-care assistants who go above and beyond — daily — to ensure residents and patients are safe, secure and valued are not mentioned.

So, where do we go from here?

Oh, sure. We could form task forces, appoint panels and string together commissions to re-trace this muddy path. But, we need to remedy this issue as soon as possible.

Finger-pointing would be counterproductive.

A commentary, as odd as it may seem, needs to be ignited. We do not need textbooks or diplomas to signify we have accredited training from a new form of education to correct questionable practices.

One has to seriously wonder what a thoughtful look in the mirror might achieve. Simple, yes. But powerful.

We must move forward.

As we enter a “new normal” we must learn from the past and encourage everyone to treat people — especially those who need help — better.

Now, imagine that.

                                <h2>
                    BRIAN LILLEY COLUMN                     </h2>
                     Yes, politicians must take responsibility but no minister in any government can personally manage every aspect of their department. They rely on highly-paid staff to give them the best advice so they can make decisions.

When you do your job so badly that it generates the type of report we saw this week, someone in the bureaucracy has to go.
I find it very hard to believe that the government was completely shocked by what was in the report from the military. I mean for goodness sake it was so bad that the military had to be called in.
Yet, it was also someone’s job to inspect these homes, to oversee these homes. Those people — along with the actual managers — are the ones who have truly failed. These are the people who should be fired — and soon.Yes, politicians must take responsibility but no minister in any government can personally manage every aspect of their department. They rely on highly-paid staff to give them the best advice so they can make decisions.
When you do your job so badly that it generates the type of report we saw this week, someone in the bureaucracy has to go.
I find it very hard to believe that the government was completely shocked by what was in the report from the military. I mean for goodness sake it was so bad that the military had to be called in.
Yet, it was also someone’s job to inspect these homes, to oversee these homes. Those people — along with the actual managers — are the ones who have truly failed. These are the people who should be fired — and soon.

COLUMN CLICK

TORONTO

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