Dr. Deborah van den Hoonaard, a St. Thomas University professor specializing in gerontology, was recently featured on Information Morning Fredericton to discuss what she perceives as a culture of ageism within New Brunswick. In the interview, she states that the province has failed to adequately address the issues that concern older citizens. She contends that nursing homes are not an appropriate solution for dealing with an aging population, but rather a means of warehousing the elderly. Dr. van den Hoonaard suggests that the province must disregard monetary value when making decisions concerning seniors, and focus instead on improving living conditions for this often overlooked segment of the population. “If we start with the money in mind, we will never get the right answer. We will always have Band-Aids, we will always cut, and we will always underpay homecare workers. We will not have a solution,” she stated.
Dr. van den Hoonaard also cited NBSPRN’s founder, the late Honourable Andy Scott as an important champion for the cause. “We had something truly special with Andy Scott,” she explained. “Andy’s method of hosting forums allowed people to talk about these issues, and members of the government were actually present and engaged.”
To hear more of Dr. van den Hoonaard’s conversation with host Terry Seguin, see below.