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Elder abuse a “hidden crime”, MPs say

Bruce Campion-Smith, Ottawa Bureau Chief, The Star

A criminal crackdown and greater public awareness are needed to combat the growing problem of elder abuse in Canada, which leaves thousands of seniors “wounded” and frightened” every year, a new study says. Just as society turned a blind eye to child and spousal abuse decades ago, abused seniors are suffering from the same neglect today, warns an all-party committee of MPs.

Let Canadians die with dignity

Lisa Priest, The Globe and Mail

Canadians who want to die with dignity should not have to engage in expensive and emotionally wrenching court battles for the right to do so. The federal government must lead on this issue, which carries extraordinary social significance. Ottawa should heed the advice of a high-profile panel on end-of-life issues and decriminalize voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide, as several other jurisdictions have already done, including the Netherlands, Oregon, Switzerland and Belgium.

For Harold, palliative care meant he was “coming back home”

Hugh Adami, The Ottawa Citizen

Harold almost didn’t get that (palliative) care because he lived in Dunrobin, and the handful of doctors who do palliative house calls really only have the time and resources to serve patients in the urban Ottawa area. Josina was exhausted and in tears when she called the Citizen in March 2010. She hadn’t had a decent sleep in months and had no one to turn to, especially at night, for advice on dealing with Harold’s pain.

Frightening view of senior care: Lodge doesn’t have the staff needed for proper supervision

Hugh Adami, The Ottawa Citizen

If the future of care for seniors is anything like what Mary “May” Quinn is getting now, those next in line have much to fear. Since Quinn returned to Carleton Lodge on September 23, after undergoing hip-replacement surgery on September 19, the 93-year-old has had a number of falls, she was either trying to get out of her bed or up from chairs in which she was restrained with a lap belt. She was alone when every fall occurred.

Health-care insiders accused of eroding system:

Political advisers laying groundwork for profit-driven firms, group argues

Pauline Tam, The Ottawa Citizen

Around Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty’s cabinet table and Conservative leader Tim Hudak’s inner circle is an influential cadre of advisers and patrons with close ties to for-profit health-care providers. The Ontario Health Coalition, a pro-medicare group, argues these insiders are eroding the province’s public health-care system by laying the groundwork for profit-driven companies to play a bigger role.