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Bob Layton: Long-term care centres should keep senior couples together

Click to play video: 'Bob Layton’s editorial: Jan. 17' Bob Layton’s editorial: Jan. 17
WATCH ABOVE: In his latest editorial, Bob Layton talks about why he thinks long-term care centres should keep senior couples together. – Jan 18, 2020

I was just in an Edmonton continuing-care centre visiting a friend, and people were talking about the newest arrival: a couple had just been on a wonderful trip to Las Vegas, and when they got home, he had a stroke.

Now he’s in a long-term care home, and she is home alone.

It’s what I call a forced divorce: seniors separated after a lifetime together because one needs treatment and the other does not, or because they need a different type of treatment.

They are torn apart by a system not prepared for senior couples who need care but also care for each other. It is heartless when one dies alone, not holding the hand of the one they love.

READ MORE: (May 8, 2019) Calgary couple forced to live apart after 66 years together because care home won’t take them both

There are precious few places in Edmonton for a couple in long-term care.

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My kudos to Ontario New Democrat MPP Catherine Fife. Her private member’s bill, if passed, would change the Ontario long-term care bill of rights to keep couples together, even if their needs are different. It’s called the Till Death Do Us Part Act.

READ MORE: London widow voices support for proposed changes to long-term care bill of rights

Amen to that.

My wife Marg and I have been together since high school. We do not want to be separated when we are ready to graduate from life school.

Let me know what you think.

Bob Layton is the news manager of the Corus Edmonton group of radio stations.

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