Sunday, January 28, 2007
Beverley Baines, professor of law, women's studies and policy studies at Queen's University, yesterday made a presentation to the provincial Standing Committee on Social Policy on Bill 140, Ontario's proposed Long-Term Care Homes Act. The essence of her remarks were published in the Toronto Star as an opinion piece. Exceprts:
Bill 140, Ontario's proposed Long-Term Care Homes Act, contains no reference to women despite the commitment in its preamble to "resident-centred care." Since most residents are women, the question arises whether their care needs differ from those of their male counterparts. The research is preliminary but it shows that at least 75 per cent of long-term care home beds are occupied by women, many of whom have a moderately severe dementing illness. Dementia is increasingly found among our aging population and its impact is quantitatively more debilitating for women. For example, in 1991 of seniors aged 85 or more who suffered from dementia, 70 per cent were women. The nature of dementia is such that it leads to falls and fractures, which, in turn, call for complex care for the residents of long-term care homes. Since Bill 140 commits to resident-centred care, the proposed legislation should articulate the fact that long-term care home residents are predominantly women whose needs deserve to be recognized and met.
Read the rest in the Star at http://www.thestar.com/article/173711