SYSTEMIC AND INTERNALIZED AGEISM
ABANDONMENT, REJECTION, STIGMATIZATION, SEGREGATION, EXCLUSION, AND BEING IGNORED
Ageism has become an epidemic in Canada and it is having an extremely debilitating effect on the mental and physical health of older adults.
This Brief to Federal and Provincial Ministers responsible for aging policies reflects the voices of elders themselves. It is Seniors for Social Action Ontario's hope that the policy makers will finally listen.
Action Alert- August 18, 2023
Tell Parliament: We Need Accessible Housing NOW!
It’s time to rally behind a cause that affects us all - the ACCESSIBLE housing crisis.
Please sign this petition to the House of Commons. And please share widely across Canada.
The Accessible Housing Network is calling for the National Building Code to be changed to make Universal Design mandatory in all new apartments and condos, so anyone can live there, regardless of age or disability.
Thank-you for your support!
Information Bulletin - August 8, 2023
AGING AT HOME INITIATIVES ARE FINALLY EXPANDING!
For three years now Seniors for Social Action Ontario (SSAO) has been advocating for PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care of the Elderly) and Hub and Spoke models, both of which take care to elders, rather than elders being uprooted and institutionalized to receive care (CBC The National, 2022).
Important Bulletin - July 24, 2023
PLEASE COMPLETE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SURVEY
Once again the Federal government is heading in the wrong direction in its survey questions. PLEASE COMPLETE THIS SURVEY AND SET THEM STRAIGHT! The more who do, the more they will have to listen.
The link is provided here:
Bulletin - July 3, 2023
ARE WE SEEING BRASS KNUCKLE CAPITALISM
BY THE FORD GOVERNMENT?
Ordinary citizens and municipally elected officials in ordinary towns are starting to get sick of the Ford government’s favoritism of long-term care companies with terrible track records like Southbridge and are fighting back (Davis, 2023). This government is giving more beds and 30-year licenses to print money to some of the worst corporations in Ontario (Oved et al, 2022).
May 28, 2023
EMAIL/LETTER TO THE MINISTER OF HEALTH
Subject: Hospital at Home
Date: Sun, 28 May 2023 08:45:10 -0400
From: Seniors Ontario <email@example.com>
CC: Vijay.Chauhan@ontario.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Dear Ms Jones,
I am writing to ask whether or not the Ministry of Health is considering launching a Hospital at Home program?
As you may know Spain, the United States, Israel, France, Australia, Singapore, and the U.K have all embraced this concept as part of an international community of Hospital at Home practitioners.
With the ongoing pressure on emergency rooms and hospitals, this would seem to be a worthwhile, cost-effective, and patient-centered approach.
Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.
Patricia Spindel, Chair, Seniors for Social Action (Ontario)
BILL 101 - AN ADVOCATE FOR OLDER ADULTS ACT
May 18, 2023
Lise Vaugeois of the NDP has introduced a Private Members' Bill that requires the support of Seniors for Social Action Ontario members.
"The Bill enacts the Advocate for Older Adults Act, 2023, which establishes an Advocate for Older Adults who is an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly. The functions of the Advocate for Older Adults include advocating in the interests of older adults and family members of older adults who act as caregivers. In addition, the Advocate for Older Adults is required to advise, in an independent manner, the Minister, public officials and persons who fund or deliver services for older adults on systemic challenges faced by older adults, policies and practices to address existing systemic challenges and other matters that may come to the attention of the Advocate for Older Adults.
The Advocate for Older Adults may make reports to the public and is required to prepare an annual report on the activities of the Advocate. The reports may include recommendations relevant to preventing and mitigating the systemic challenges faced by older adults. In order to assist the Advocate for Older Adults, the Advocate may establish an advisory council. The Advocate for Older Adults also has authority to require the provision of information in specified circumstances. The Act also provides that no person shall face reprisals for having assisted the Advocate for Older Adults. Other administrative matters are provided for." https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-43/session-1/bill-101
Please e-mail your MPP indicating your support for this Bill. Your MPP's e-mail address can be found here if you click on their names: https://www.ola.org/en/members/current
HOME CARE EMERGENCY!
Time to contact your MPPs!
February 18, 2023
The Ontario government is clearly backtracking on its election promise to invest $1 Billion in Home Care. This report from the Ottawa Citizen tells the story: Home-care agencies cut services in wait for promised Ontario funding | Ottawa Citizen
Struggling home- and community-care agencies forced to cut services as they wait for promised provincial funding
SSAO has almost a thousand members on its Distribution List and many of you belong to other organizations. If we all e-mail our MPPs IN UNISON in the next three days, expressing our outrage at the government withholding Home Care funding from non-profit community agencies we can pressure the government and Opposition to take up this issue.
Please do it today! You can opt to send this message by copying and pasting it into an e-mail:
I am outraged to read that Home Care funding is being withheld after the promise was made in the last election that the PC government would invest an additional $1 Billion in Home Care.
I want to know what you are doing as my MPP to raise this issue with the government.
I will not accept a form letter response. I want to know what specific actions you will personally take to address this important issue.
I look forward to your response by Thursday, February 23, 2023.
(Name, address, phone number, e-mail address)
PLEASE ACT NOW!
You can find your MPPs contact information here: https://www.ola.org/en/members/current (Click on their names to find their e-mail addresses).
Please copy firstname.lastname@example.org up front in your e-mail. They need to know that you are a member.
PLEASE WRITE TO YOUR
January 19, 2023
The letter can be amended to send to Opposition MPP's as well.
SSAO is providing a template letter for you to send to your Conservative MPP's over your signature. Please consider sending it today. MPP's are in their offices on Fridays. Thank you for assisting us in our systemic advocacy campaign to get this government and the Opposition parties to change direction.
Your MPP's e-mail address can be found here by clicking on their name: https://www.ola.org/en/members/current
August 25, 2022
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CHIEF COMMISSIONER OF THE ONTARIO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
Dear Ms DeGuire,
For too long, ageism has been seen as a lesser form of discrimination. Society’s grandparents and great grandparents have been pushed to the margins of society and shown, in word and deed, that they do not matter. The strong message – they are old and will die soon anyway – ever present.
Older adults are the only group in society besides prisoners who are still mass institutionalized in a socially acceptable act of systemic marginalization........
August 23, 2022
SENIORS FOR SOCIAL ACTION ONTARIO SENDS OPEN LETTER TO THE MINISTERS OF HEALTH, LONG-TERM CARE, AND
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF ONTARIO.
THIS LETTER HAS ALSO BEEN COPIED TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CANADA AND TO THE CHIEF COMMISSIONER OF THE ONTARIO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
In a strongly worded letter released yesterday, Seniors for Social Action Ontario has advised the Ontario government that Bill 7 violates older adults' fundamental human and constitutional rights. Citing Superior and Supreme Court Decisions in Canada, as well as provisions of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to which Canada is a signatory, SSAO took issue with the Ontario government's plan to allow older adults and people with disabilities to be arbitrarily admitted to long-term care facilities without their consent and to share their personal health information with those facilities, also without their consent.
Citing a range of alternative actions that the Ontario government could have taken to support older adults and people with disabilities in their own homes and communities, we call on the provincial government to immediately withdraw Bill 7.
Please feel free to share this letter with your MPPs, your federal MPs, and any groups of which you are a member, as well as on social media. This letter needs to be widely distributed.
As always thank you for your support of our advocacy initiatives.
"An institution is neither a home nor a place of care. An institution is a closed system where problems of human deprivation and indignity are quietly managed, where societal failings are hidden, and where people, individually or, as we now know, by tens of thousands, can die without
Dr. Catherine Frazee
Professor Emerita, Ryerson,
former Chief Commissioner of the
Ontario Human Rights Commission
"Without legal avenues to challenge their situation, persons with disabilities deprived of their liberty become invisible and forgotten by the wider community. Indeed, due to the mistaken belief that those practices are well intentioned and beneficial, their situation and well-being is hardly monitored by national preventive mechanisms or human rights institutions."
Office of the High Commissioner,
Rest in Peace Sparky (Terri) Johnson
SSAO is devastated at the tragic loss of another of our core members - Sparky (Terri) Johnson. Sparky was a kind, compassionate woman for whom the fight for social justice for older adults in long-term care facilities was her life's work. She was determined to advocate for alternatives to these institutions, and to stop the neglect and abuse occurring in them. Her dedication will be forever remembered by all of us.
Sparky, an Indigenous woman, had strong spiritual beliefs about her path in life that required defense of those who suffered. A stroke survivor herself, she was a role model for many.
Sparky was the victim of a homicide and was found in North Pickering. Her room mate has confessed to her murder. It is heartbreaking that she died so tragically.
Rest In Peace Don Weitz, 1930 - 2021
We are all saddened today as we mourn the loss of another co-founder of Seniors For Social Action Ontario (SSAO), Don Weitz.
Don was a long time activist for the rights of psychiatric survivors, and was often seen at demonstrations protesting everything from racism to supporting the Mother's Day March for people with developmental disabilities.
He was an eloquent writer and street poet as well as a significant support to many people struggling with homelessness, addiction, and mental health issues.
With SSAO he offered an important voice concerning the over use of psychotropic medications in long term care facilities, and the treatment of individuals with psychiatric disabilities living there. He was a strong advocate against institutionalization because of his first hand knowledge of institutional abuses and his own mistreatment.
Don's was not an easy life. His own personal experience of tragedy, discrimination, and oppression may have overwhelmed someone with a lesser spirit, but Don pressed on, speaking out about the things that mattered to his last days.
His strong, unwavering voice and kind heart will be greatly missed by those of us who knew him for decades.
Rest in peace, Don. Yours was a meaningful life well lived.