Praise for staff — not for owners

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It is with absolute praise for staff and utter disgust for owners of privately operated seniors homes that I pen this letter.

It was my understanding that seniors homes are designed for seniors who choose to live in such facilities for various reasons. Some choose to make the transition after losing their life mate and prefer to not live out the rest of their lives alone. Others (couples) actually move into seniors homes because they are aging and favour leaving the responsibility of residential upkeep behind.

Then there are the seniors who are forced by family members to abandon their independence more for the ease of the family than the contentment of the parents.

Gone are the days when families care for aging parents; it is just easier to hand them off to paid professionals.  

Therein lies the problem. The staff of these privately owned homes are not professionals; they are ordinary people who are required to perform the unthinkable, from stomach-churning personal care to dispensing medications and, worst of all, facing copious varieties of abuse by residents who suffer from a range of mental illnesses.  

Bottom line: owners are in it for the money. Period. They cut corners where they can, pay dedicated staff a few pennies above the minimum wage and leave the residence shortstaffed on a regular basis.  

Many of the residents are categorized as requiring Level 2 or even Level 3 care, yet are held in these seniors homes because empty beds don’t fetch any capital.

An abundance of crucial changes is needed in order to provide seniors with the care they so deserve.

Who’s to blame for the lack of proper management of private seniors homes? Everybody, from greedy owners to

lack of family consideration and the absence of government connection.

Although my employment was short-lived in what I thought would be a gratifying service, I witnessed enough to state that privately owned seniors homes should be scrutinized more closely by an outside entity and changes are imperative for the betterment of residents. I guess I don’t have the fortitude required to face every day in such a distressing and demanding atmosphere.

In closing, I would like to send a huge bouquet to all who take care of seniors in need. They are my heroes.

I recognize that not all owners of privately operated seniors homes are in need of a heart, but those who do, know who you are.

Cathy Sheehan

St. John’s

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Recent comments

  • Virginia Waters
    January 31, 2013 - 13:34

    If it is true that calorie restricted diets can increase longevity, then the residents in some of these private care facilities should live forever.

  • Jennifer
    January 31, 2013 - 08:38

    Well said, Cathy. If the public only knew how under staffed and under quailfied the people that work in these homes are there would be a public outcry. There's usually one nurse divided between 5-6 homes and training is minimal-if any. Most owners "visit' a half a dozen times a year and have nothing to do with the day to day running of the home. There is such a conflict of intrest in these situations. We are a "have' province, government needs to foot the bill for this, same as being in the hospital and squeeze out these dirty owners.

  • Old new problems
    January 31, 2013 - 08:15

    I m pretty sure that MHA Paul Oram fixed that problem when he was in government and the minister on the danny williams team. Who'd a thunk IT!

  • MissL
    January 31, 2013 - 07:17

    I am a former employee of one of these homes, and I have seen first hand at owners cutting corners when it comes to expenses. The place at I worked at in st.philips not only paid minimum wage to the employees, also harasses and bullies employees into working crazy shifts, doing unsafe work and less than ideal working conditions, but they also fed the residents expired food that was stored in a mice infested pantry in the basement. I am still in awe as to how they are still open!