Something is rotten at our long-term care homes

Mohammed Adam, The Ottawa Citizen

When the Citizen first broke the news about the punching of a senior citizen by a worker at the Garry J. Armstrong facility, the president of the Family and Friends Council of the nursing home penned a passionate defence of its workers and service. “The staff is extremely dedicated and chose this career and environment because that is their passion. They derive tremendous satisfaction from the interaction they have with residents and are to be commended for often performing far beyond the norm expected of them …” John McCormick wrote. Reading this, I gave the nursing home and its workers the benefit of the doubt. You don’t tar an entire institution for the actions of one man. But following other agonizing stories of abuse and neglect at Garry J. Armstrong and other spots, there is no doubt something is rotten at some of our long-term care homes. No amount of goodwill can excuse the catalogue of abuse, and one might say, cruelty. Particularly odious is the practice of punishing – yes, punishing – people for speaking out against the mistreatment of their loved ones.

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