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“Government inaction on senior issues”

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Alberta Seniors

July 6, 2022

Government Inaction on senior issues may be innocuous for politicians but
not victims.

The Elder Advocates of Alberta Society asks how free and compassionate
our society is if criminal charges are not laid against those who commit
abusive crimes against seniors?

Is it unfair to label judges and politicians as incompetent because they
break promises or fail to uphold the laws of the land their predecessors did
under oath of office a century ago?

The Society’s answers to these questions and the conclusions resulting
from its homework strongly suggests they are not just relevant but,
astoundingly, old and unnecessarily dated.

Between 1980 and 1982 public outrage arose following Dr. Henry Hyde’s Alberta
Nursing Home Review Panel report, revealing the extent to which aged seniors
were subjected to physical violence and other abuses by some nursing home staff.

The Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald newspapers reported extensively on
the Panel’s findings at the time.

.“The issue of nursing homes is by no means a new one. In the last ten
years the government has ignored numerous reports, including its own –
documenting drug over-use, lack of rehabilitation programs – staff
training and lack of staff,” wrote Helen Melnyk, a staff writer for
the Edmonton Journal at time of publication dated February 28/1981.

No charges were ever laid as a result of the report. Very little has
changed since then.

In December of 2020, at the Cedars Villa Nursing home in Calgary on a
cold winter night a 91-year-old dementia patient who was supposed to
be locked in a secure ward was found dead in the snow outside the facility.


“For half a century, there has been known abuse, violence and deadly
neglect of the elderly and for half a century no accountability,”
says Ruth Adria, executive director of EAAS.

“Failed accountability has spawned intentional criminal assaults and repeat


Our leaders need to act, recognizing that the concerns of EAAS and other
Albertans are serious. For too long, too many Albertans have experienced
the ‘passing the buck game’, where citizen concerns are forwarded to their
MLAs, then subsequently passed along to other MLAs who fail to act on the
cries of help they receive from constituents. Sadly enough, some of those
MLAs who were more than qualified to act appropriately and with confidence
did little or nothing.

Regardless of which ideological party holds Provincial power, hesitant
political will has been the weapon of choice for decades. The problem,
however, is who gets hurt when it is wielded


Media Inquiries

Darcy Gray

Press Secretary, Elder Advocates of Alberta Society

(780) 863-1635 E-mail ldguy.Darcy@gmail.com