André Picard’s Latest Book “Neglected No More” Is a Must Read for Policy Makers
Prominent Globe & Mail health reporter, André Picard, recently published his latest book “Neglected No More: The Urgent Need to Improve the Lives of Canada's Elders in the Wake of a Pandemic” (Penguin Randon House Canada). In it he discusses the terrifying impact of COVID-19 on long-term care facilities including the death toll and widespread illness that we saw. He reviews our health care system for older persons and the way that we, as a society, have come to embrace institutionalization for some of our most vulnerable members. He proposes solutions that can help address the complex needs of vulnerable older persons many of whom suffer from dementia. Picard’s language is powerful: "Here’s an idea: Why don’t we spend a lot more time, effort and money actually caring for our elders, and a lot less on studying how we neglected and killed them? It’s long past time we gave life to the “care” part of long-term care."
CBC news anchor and reporter, Adrienne Arsenault, described the book as a “public service”. It is a must-read for every policy maker and politician as well as for everyone who can facilitate and/or advocate for better health care for seniors. If there is a silver lining in the COVID pandemic, it is that, along with the death, devastation and tragedy, COVID brought to the forefront of public discourse the problems and deficiencies of many long-term care facilities and the urgent need to make changes.
One of the Picard’s key arguments, that we are aware of many of the solutions that need to be implemented but have not been implementing them, is also at the core of the #SeePainMoreClearly knowledge mobilization campaign. Our goal with #SeePainMoreClearly is to raise awareness of the problem of frequent and undermanaged pain in long-term care and of available solutions. If these available solutions for improved pain care were widely implemented, we could go a long way toward improving the lives older adults. This is important because, as Picard stresses, elders matter.
How You Can Help?
Would you like to share your thoughts on our See Pain More Clearly campaign and the use of social media to mobilize knowledge about pain in dementia?
We are looking for policymakers, researchers, healthcare workers and family caregivers to participate in a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the #SeePainMoreClearly social media initiative to mobilize knowledge about pain in dementia.