It took the coronavirus pandemic to open our eyes to the deplorable state of so many of the nation's long-term care homes: the inhumane conditions, overworked and underpaid staff, and lack of oversight. In this timely new book, esteemed health reporter André Picard reveals the full extent of the crisis in eldercare, and offers an urgently needed prescription to fix a broken system.
When COVID-19 spread through seniors' residences across Canada, the impact was horrific. Along with widespread illness and a devastating death toll, the situation exposed a decades-old crisis: the shocking systemic neglect towards our elders.
Called in to provide emergency care in some of the hardest-hit facilities in Ontario and Quebec, the military issued damning reports of what they encountered. And yet, the failings that were exposed--unappetizing meals, infrequent baths, overmedication, physical abuse and inadequate personal care--have persisted for years in these institutions.
In Neglected No More, André Picard takes a hard look at how we came to embrace mass institutionalization, and lays out what can and must be done to improve the state of care for our elders, a highly vulnerable population with complex needs and little ability to advocate for themselves.
Picard shows that the entire eldercare system--fragmented, underfunded and unsupported--is long overdue for a fundamental rethink. We need to find ways to ensure seniors can age gracefully in the community for longer, with supportive home care and respite for family caregivers, and ensure that long-term care homes are not warehouses of isolation and neglect. Our elders deserve nothing less.
About the Author
ANDRÉ PICARD is a health reporter and columnist for the Globe and Mail, where he has been a staff writer since 1987. He is also the author of five bestselling books. André is an eight-time nominee for the National Newspaper Awards, Canada's top journalism prize, and past winner of a prestigious Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service Journalism. He was named Canada's first "Public Health Hero" by the Canadian Public Health Association, and a "Champion of Mental Health" by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health, and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his dedication to improving healthcare.
André is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, and has received honorary doctorates from six universities, including UBC and the University of Toronto.
“[E]veryone who may have elders to care for, and/or may end up as an elder in need of care themselves—which is to say, everyone—should read this book, and press our governments to heed Picard’s warnings and wise advice.” —Montreal Review of Books
“Neglected No More is a powerful, well-researched, eloquently written book that dives deep into why and how Canada fails its elders.” —Forbes
“[A] compelling case for transforming how society cares for older people.” —The Lancet
“Picard . . . is odds-on Canada’s premier health-care journalist. His columns in the Globe and Mail are intelligent, incisive and frequently revelatory. So is this book.” —Winnipeg Free Press
"Neglected No More should be an essential part of the national debate we urgently need to be having right now, whether or not we agree with all of its conclusions.” —Literary Review of Canada
“All [of Picard’s] suggestions make sense. We should all hope and demand that he’ll be heeded. . . . Highly recommended.” —Vancouver Sun
Praise for Matters of Life and Death: Public Health Issues in Canada:
“Over the past 30 years, André Picard has become the most prominent Canadian commentator on the intersection between medicine and social values. His new book, Matters of Life and Death, a selection of some of his most powerful columns written for The Globe and Mail, further establishes his unique voice in discussions about Canadian health-care policy. . . . The extent of Picard’s influence has accrued because he stands outside medicine and the academy—he has no formal training in health care. This allows him a skepticism and clear-sightedness that has made him an indispensable medical writer.” —The Globe and Mail
“If ill-informed health policy debates are part of the problem, this new book from journalist André Picard is an important part of the solution. Matters of Life and Death distills Picard’s 30 years of experience covering the health policy beat into a bracing dose of fact and analysis. And his elegant voice as a prose stylist is the spoonful of sugar that makes even his more alarming and discouraging passages go down smoothly. . . . This is a remarkable and useful book, rich with anecdotes, facts and statistics and often providing thoughtful suggestions for the big-picture reforms that the author believes would improve Canadian health service.” —Vancouver Sun
“We all need to read Matters of Life and Death, reflect on it, generate conversations, and take action for change. Without such conversations and changes, our health system is not sustainable. Thank you, André Picard, for giving us your columns to start these conversations.” —Canadian Journal of Physician Leadership