Letter: Where do They Go?


The following letter was submitted by a SaultOnline.com viewer who did not want to be identified.

According to the OMA, “Dementia is a debilitating, progressive, and fatal condition that places significant physical, emotional and psychological stress on patients. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for approximately 60%-70% of dementia cases.

The term dementia is used to describe a set of symptoms that occur when the brain is affected by disease and/or other conditions. These symptoms impact a person’s ability to perform everyday activities, and may include memory loss, impaired judgment or reasoning, difficulty processing information or problem-solving, difficulty with planning and execution, challenges understanding or producing language, changes in mood or behaviour, and decreased motor function.

The prevalence of dementia in society is expected to grow significantly over the next several years as the risk for the condition doubles every five years after age 65. By 2020, it’s estimated that approximately 250,000 seniors in Ontario will be living with dementia up from about 200,000 today.

Many individuals living with dementia stay in their homes, often supported by family members. Family caregivers are often older and frail themselves. Thus, the strain of caring for someone with dementia can be overwhelming.”


So where do these people go?  The nursing homes, in a lot of cases won’t accept them because of the problems that might occur.  They don’t receive the proper care at home, they sometimes are a danger to themselves and their caregivers, and there is no room at the hospitals because of cuts in funding and staff.

So what do we do?  Sit at home crying at the sight of a loved one deteriorating to the point of becoming a vegetable?  You don’t know what to do, there is no one there to help or guide you as to what your next move should be.

The doctors and the hospital workers that deal with this already have stated that the person can’t go back to the retirement home and they suggest that they go to the nursing home.  But the nursing homes already have refused to take the person in.  The question, again, is “Where do they go?  I’m at a loss.  What can I do?”

Please, someone help.


  1. I don’t understand why it’s said that nursing homes won’t take dementia patients? As an example… the Davey Home has a section specifically for dementia and Alzheimer patients, that they are locked into (so to speak) so they don’t wander off. I have a family member with dementia there now. It’s not the greatest place to be, but it is better than no place to be. For that matter, most of the residents in the other areas have dementia too. I hope you can find an answer because that’s so tough to deal with, and sad that help isn’t there for the taking. We are screwed when we are old! Considering the sad state that elderly long term care is at now, imagine when we are old? yikes.

  2. A sad subject that few like to think about, a lot of us have been through this with a parent and there often comes a point where they have to be hospitalized for their own safety. What is so sad about that is that the nurses sedate them so heavily by jamming pills down their their throats so they sleep twenty hours a day and even the short time they are awake they are like zombies.
    I don’t think these nurses even know what the word dignity means, the main thing they are concerned about is that these patients won’t bother them during their shift and if pills do that for them they are more than happy to keep giving them enough of them so they are incapacitated for most of the day.
    About all I can say about that is that I am a firm believer in karma.

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