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Book Review: Happily Ever Older, Revolutionary Approaches To Long-Term Care

Moira Welsh is a local investigative journalist with the Toronto Star. I have spoken to Moira on several occasions over the years in her coverage of both local and national legal issues of public interest. Moira is an accomplished author and reporter having won several awards for her coverage of social justice issues in Canada. From my elder law work, I have seen several of Moira’s pieces on issues affecting our older adult population.

Moira’s writings canvas all sorts of inspirational ways for our older adults to be living during their older years and has done so through investigation of methods in several different jurisdictions in the Americas, Europe and beyond as well as within diversified cultures. Moira touches on policy, the need to adapt, affordability, as well as hospital over-crowding. Moira shares her personal experience with aging loved ones, some of which are all too familiar to me from my own experiences with family and with my clients.

Some of the human stories that Moira learned about she shares with us in a beautifully written, thoughtful way, reflective of the importance and impact on the members of the families involved, but also extraordinary in that the experiences read like an engaging novel. Moira manages to investigate options, strategies, and better ways for our seniors to live, while at the same time conveying solutions learned from medical experts, and others and all while telling individual stories as well as her own.

Moira touches on longevity, on advanced care needs, on dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, cognitive decline, the critically ill, and more. She canvasses, yoga, theater, sing-alongs, music, games, courses, and human-interest involvement.

Moira also looked at the wonderful opportunities of day programs for family and for those with care needs. Her work highlights the dangers in the approach being simply the avoidance of risk.

This is a powerful look through a lens of humanity at providing positive approaches to care, which include respectful, appropriate options for our older population and servicing a variety of different needs, wants, desires, inclusivity, and the importance of freedom and living well.

The Toronto HomeShare Program is described and how Seniors’ Strategists including Dr. Sinha, Laura Tamblyn-Watts, Josh Matlow, Dr. Mirza, the folks at the NICE Network, and others, are helping to develop new ways, new designs for elder living options. Ryerson University released a report called, The Future Cost of Long-Term Care in Canada assisted by an actuary who I also met recently, albeit, virtually, Dr. Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald who is the director of financial research at The National Institute on Ageing which is an amazing initiative.

Thank you, Moira, for this compassionate and eye-opening deeper look at both how we are failing our seniors and importantly how we can do better and succeed in improving the quality of life of our older adult population. This is a fantastic resource that should be read and distributed widely.

This book can be purchased online:

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/product/9781770415218-item.html?s_campaign=goo-Shopping_Smart_Books&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3qquncfV7wIVwhitBh36twvsEAYYASABEgLr3_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.amazon.ca/Happily-Ever-Older-Revolutionary-Approaches/dp/1770415211

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