Dear Editor:

RE: County councillors ponder potential expansion of Wellington Terrace, April 6.

This letter is in response to the excellent article regarding expanding Wellington Terrace.

If Wellington Terrace has a waiting list of 500, so does every other long-term care facility in Ontario. Yes, some folks are listed in several waiting lists but there are still 500 seniors on the waiting list at every home who need care and all are being cared for in their own home, apartment or condo unit by Ontario Home Care and their families. There are 38,000 eligible for long-term care in Ontario waiting for placement.

I often read in the media that we seniors want to stay in our own home rather than move to a long-term care facility. Do they really want to spend most of their last days alone with no interaction with people except for the odd caregiver or family that visits?

This is not for me. I am in a retirement home. It is costly to live here but I have activities and people to keep me occupied and help keep my mind and body in good shape. I have excellent meals, not just “tea and toast” so I keep healthy and enjoy life. 

But the majority of seniors cannot afford to be there so they have no choice but to stay in their own home. People are social beings. All creatures are social (eg. bees, ants, rodents, bears, whales, etc.). Without each other and interacting together we deteriorate and lose interest in life. Those with dementia need stimulation, not isolation.

I am 85 years old with a few physical limitations (not life threatening) but no dementia and I expect to live probably another 20 years. My mother died in her sleep at 103. I had a great visit with her the evening before she died.

Hopefully, when and if I need long-term care, there will be a place available for me. After all, I have already paid my taxes for 60-plus years and will continue to pay them until the day I die. I feel our governments have an obligation to look after the elderly the best way possible instead of treating us as excess baggage. 

Who paid taxes for 18 to 20 years while the younger generation was growing up? Their parents. Therefore, look out for us now, not 10 years from now when most of us will be dead and there will be new seniors who need care. We are feeling unappreciated.

Mary Patricia Young,