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Members of one of Canada’s largest advocacy associations got down to business Saturday to draw attention to what they say are myriad problems with privately owned long-term care facilities.

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On a cold and rainy morning, approximately 55 people walked in CARP’s (Canadian Association for Retired People) second annual advocacy walk to raise awareness of this year’s theme Letting People Live Before They Die.

“Our biggest concern is privately owned (facilities), which is a big problem because of what shareholders do. They give the money to the shareholders instead of returning part of the money to the houses, ”said Donna Parete, co-chair of the walking committee.

“That’s why they have a shortage of staff. They only have two hours of attention. It doesn’t work, ”he said. “They need four hours of attention. Also, we need standard guidelines for care. More inspectors are needed.

“The PSWs do their best, but due to a shortage of staff, they just can’t do it. They are burning and leaving. “

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Mayor Drew Dilkens, District 7 Councilman Jeewen Gill, and Gemma Gray-Hall, the New Democratic candidate for the Windsor-Tecumseh seat currently held by retired MP Percy Hatfield, spoke with participants after the walk through the Ganatchio trail from Riverside Sportsmen. Club to Lesperance Road and vice versa.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens spoke with participants of the CARP Defense Walk, Saturday, September 25, 2021, at the Riverside Sportsmen Club.
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens spoke with participants of the CARP Defense Walk, Saturday, September 25, 2021, at the Riverside Sportsmen Club. Photo by Julie Kotsis /Windsor Star

Dilkens said the city was fortunate to have the resources to dedicate to the municipally owned Huron Lodge during the COVID-19 pandemic and acknowledged the efforts of all staff at the long-term care facilities that he claimed have been doing “a tremendous job during the most difficult moments of his career.”

“There is no question … there is more work to be done,” Dilkens told the small crowd.

“You will see changes over time. The work that you are doing here today, I think is really important, because it will help move the needle in the conversation about the changes that are required in our long-term care homes.

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“Let’s work together and champion the cause to find improvements in long-term care,” he added.

Gray-Hall said she read the Ontario Auditor General’s report on long-term care facilities and was “shocked and horrified” by some of the things she read, adding that there are 636 long-term care homes “predominantly for the purpose of profit “with 78,000 people living there, mostly women aged 63 and over and most suffer from some form of dementia.

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Gemma Gray-Hall, the New Democrats candidate for the Windsor-Tecumseh seat currently held by retired MP Percy Hatfield, addressed issues related to long-term care for the elderly after the CARP Defense Walk, on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at Riverside Sportsmen Club.
Gemma Gray-Hall, the New Democrats candidate for the Windsor-Tecumseh seat currently held by retired MP Percy Hatfield, addressed issues related to long-term care for the elderly after the CARP Defense Walk, on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at Riverside Sportsmen Club. Photo by Julie Kotsis /Windsor Star

“I know that everyone here has a story about how their loved ones have fared in the long-term care situation that we live with,” Gray-Hall said. “We really need to address it.

“Our seniors deserve to live in a home that cares more about them than about earnings.”

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