In light of the recent 1st degree murder charges against Elizabeth Wettlaufer, a nurse who worked at several nursing home facilities, a number of articles have been written in local and national newspapers about the care we provide to older adults. Christie Blatchford, a columnist with the National Post, has written a column suggesting that the care of older people in Canada is an outrage. Her article highlights the fact that this issue – of how we care for elderly people as a society, particularly given our aging population – is of utmost importance.
Erin Anderssen, a columnist with the Globe and Mail, has written a piece on the little noticed work of caregivers. She points out (to paraphrase) that caregivers are underpaid, overworked, and that often care is outsourced to unskilled, working poor, often immigrant women, outside of the public system.
While the events leading to the arrest of Ms. Wettlaufer are horrific and tragic, they are exceedingly rare. Ms. Blatchford and Ms. Anderssen are to be commended for starting this conversation. It is important that we increase community awareness so that red flags and the signs of elder abuse are picked up more quickly, and that the care needs of this growing population are properly addressed moving forward.
Ms. Blatchford’s and Ms. Anderssen’s articles can be found at the links below: