Ontario's political parties should take note of the International Day of Older Persons ( October 1 ) and revise their platforms- Union suggests

OTTAWA, Oct. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - The United Nations has called on governments not to undermine provision of social protection, long-term care and access to public health for the elderly because of the current fiscal environment.

Marking the day, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Anand Grover, said, "as you reach old age, you are more likely to be ignored, patronized, denied access to social security or healthcare, abused, forcefully medicated without your consent or denied medical treatment at all due to your age. The list is just too long."

Michael Hurley, President of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE, responding to the UN announcement said "ageism does exist in the provision of healthcare for older persons in Ontario. A recent study of first responders in Ontario found seniors were much less likely than younger people to be transported to a regional trauma centre, where recovery prospects are much better after a heart attack or stroke. 1,000 stroke victims last year received no speech pathology support to help them to recover their ability to speak."

" None of the political parties has budgeted for a minimum standard of care in long-term care, which means that the neglect of long-term care residents will continue. The acute care funding plans of all parties will mean additional cuts to hospital beds and services and this will mean additional pressure on older persons in acute care hospitals to be discharged. Many of these patients are discharged prematurely, some to unregulated retirement homes, which have no care standards, sometimes with tragic consequences ", Hurley said.

" The generation that fought WWII deserves our attention, today and every day. Ontario's political parties need to take a second look at their health policies as they impact older persons", Hurley said. 

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information:

Michael Hurley  416-884-0770

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