We wish to respond to the letter of Thomas Hasek (The complaints - and numbers - don't add up, Letter to the Editor, Burnaby NOW, Sept. 28).
In his rush to make a political point, Mr. Hasek has made assertions about our family that are totally off-base. If something doesn't add up for you, perhaps it's because you invented it? You have no knowledge whatsoever about my father's financial situation.
Prior to Doug Evans' admission to the hospital, he was a healthy and active person suffering only from Alzheimer's. The family thought it best for him to live at home as long as possible, and we provided for his care for seven years because we believe a familiar setting and active lifestyle was in his best interest. We "managed his affairs" with the expectation that Doug and his wife would be with us for quite a while yet, because that is typical in our family, and prior to his hospital treatment, we had no reason to think otherwise. Our goal in approaching the media has been to urge reform for hospitals, because the regular administration of anti-psychotic drugs to pacify anyone who can't object is incredibly damaging, especially to Alzheimer's patients.
We were blindsided by what happened to Dad in the hospital and horror stories from the public suggest this is frighteningly common. The issue of beds is a new one for us, but what we have seen so far indicates a massive problem that is going to get worse. That is why the elderly are piling up in hospitals. The number of people suffering from some form of dementia is growing rapidly, as is the number of seniors that will need some type of care beyond what can be provide at home. This problem is not going to go away.
What we expect from the government, Mr. Hasek, is that its public health system should be honest and capable. We're all paying for it, so let's not make excuses.
Diane Evans, Burnaby