Seniors must have the right to stay together in long-term care

October 19, 2016 at 4:30 pm

Official Opposition tables Residents’ Bill of Rights legislation

HALIFAX, NS – Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie today tabled legislation that would ensure seniors have the right to live in the same long-term care facility as their spouse.

“Seniors have a right to live out their final years with the person they love,” says Baillie. “We owe it to these men and women to do our best to keep them together and not leave them in heartache. Too many times we have heard horror stories of seniors being separated and that is shameful.”

Pam Campbell is proud to support the bill. Her parents, 92-year-old Second World War Veteran Harold Cameron and his wife Virginia have been married for 70 years. Mr. Cameron, who battles dementia, qualifies for Camp Hill, but his wife does not. The family is adamant that the Camerons not be separated, so for now they are paying a great deal of money for 24 hour care to keep them at home. Mrs. Campbell feels bad for families who don’t have the financial means to keep their loved ones together at home.

“How can a government look at a husband and wife and tell them after seven decades they can’t be together,” asks Baillie? “The McNeil Liberals must start treating seniors like the Camerons with dignity and kindness.”

The Residents’ Bill of Rights would help make sure couples like the Camerons aren’t separated by force.

“They’ve been together for 70 years and they haven’t been apart a day in their lives,” says Mrs. Campbell. “To separate them now would be cruel and we won’t allow it. Dad may not remember much, but he remembers that his family comes first. They are the most important thing to each other.”

Mrs. Campbell says her parents are receiving excellent care at home, but she fears this is only a temporary fix because as their health deteriorates they will need to be placed in a provincial facility.

“We will cross that bridge if we have to, but today, the government could pass this legislation and protect seniors like my parents,” she says. “I won’t give up this fight. Our parents and grandparents deserve the right to live the rest of their lives together.”

Baillie is today calling on the McNeil Liberals to pass this legislation and get on with delivering the best services for seniors.

“Seniors and their families deserve to know that their government is committed to providing quality care,” he adds. “This is about doing the right thing.”

In addition to providing for senior spouses, the Residents’ Bill of Rights also includes:

  • the right to be treated with courtesy and respect and in a way that fully recognizes their individuality and respects their dignity;
  • the right to be protected from abuse;
  • the right to be properly sheltered, clothed, groomed, and cared for in a manner consistent with
  • the resident’s needs;
  • the right to high quality, nutritious meals;
  • the right to live in a safe and clean environment;
  • the right to exercise the rights of a citizen;
  • the right to be afforded privacy in treatment and in caring for their personal needs;
  • the right to keep and display personal possessions, pictures and other furnishings in their room;
  • when dying or very ill, the right to have family and friends present 24 hours per day;
  • the right to have their lifestyle choices respected;
  • the right to pursue social, cultural, religious, spiritual and other interests, to develop their potential and to be given reasonable assistance to pursue those interests and to develop that potential.

This Bill establishes a Residents’ Bill of Rights for residents in a residential care facility, a nursing home or a home for aged or disabled persons.