LETTER: Praise to three widows for speaking out

Letter writer reacts to residential care story

Re: ‘They made his dying as pleasant as death can be’ January 5, 2018, Page A3

Thanks to Nelson Star reporter Tyler Harper for an excellent story about the quality of care of in our Nelson-based residential care facilities. I was heartened to hear the stories of Diana Dunsmore, Gerrie Melnechuk and Gretchen Backus who all lived through this journey with their husbands. It was a very gripping human story and I very much appreciate these strong women for sharing.

Both my parents spent their final years at Mountain Lakes Seniors Community. As a child of aging parents who struggled with both dementia and severe physical issues, I’m not sure what my family would have done without the loving care provided by the staff. Both on the assisted living and residential care sides, the individuals who have committed their working lives to caring for vulnerable people consistently blew me away with their huge hearts.

Having spent considerable time at this facility, I had the opportunity to witness the challenges staff face daily. Like so much in our health care system, this area is underfunded and requires those on the frontlines to dig deep to provide the quality of care that helps put families at ease. There can be no price put on having a safe, comfortable and caring place for our loved ones.

Both my parents passed away in the last two years. It’s provided me with insight and emotional scarring that has been, to say the least, an eye-opener.

The cost of health care is wildly expensive. It’s a massive line item that provincial governments across our nation struggle to keep under control. As people live longer and the advancement of drugs to keep people alive continues, the stress to the bottom line will only increase.

We’re fortunate to live in a country that provides this level of care regardless of wealth. To see how a system can be terrifying for loved ones going through this painful journey, simply look south to the U.S.

It’s important that people like the three women in this story continue to speak out and advocate. We can do better. By bringing these personal stories to light, those who may not have yet entered this world get a better understanding of what is required to make it better.

Bob Hall,


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