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Neglected No More    by André Picard order for
Neglected No More
by André Picard
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2021 (2021)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Rick Irving

I just finished reading Neglected No More by André Picard. It provides a much needed history and overview of the failures of senior care in Canada as well as some future directions. It is a must read for clinical workers, politicians, family of seniors and anyone who hopes to live past sixty-five.

Part one documents the years of political neglect of senior care - a damning history of how successive governments have failed to act. As Picard states, 'When gross societal failure occurs, you can count on Canadian Politicians to embrace obfuscation and foot dragging'. In addition to many illustrative histories of individuals and summaries of past failures, he presents the alarming statistic that during COVID, deaths in residential care were twice the average of 37 OECD countries. The fact that 80% of COVID-19 related deaths were in residential homes is a reflection of system failures writ large.

In part two, the author discusses various approaches to senior care including home care, various forms of residential care, plus a description of how other countries approach these issues. Among the issues discussed are Staffing; Caregivers; Long-Term-Care Homes; Homecare; Palliative Care; Funding; the Structure of Elder Care, Advocacy Information, and the Role of Community.

In his concluding chapter he presents a high-level prescription for addressing these issues. As he notes, 'since the advent of Medicare, Canada has produced at least 150 inquiries, parliamentary hearings, task forces and commissioned reports on the state of long-term-care, home care and elder care… And yet very few of the recommendations have been implemented.' He concludes that 'Ultimately, funding eldercare is not about writing more reports ... it is about giving life to our values'.

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