Regarding Overlander Extended Care facility . . . as an individual who had a loved one in this facility, I would like to comment on the wave of unfavourable publicity that has descended upon Overlander during the past few weeks.
In no way do I wish to make light of the tragedy that befell Jack Shippobotham or infer that anyone in the care of our province should suffer through a similar experience in the waning months or years of their lives (The Daily News, Aug. 20).
While this event was truly, tragic, it cannot, in my opinion, be used as a measure of the quality of caring that is the hallmark of Overlander Extended Care. I have found the care, and more importantly the caring, to be second to none and I am constantly amazed at the level of commitment and the manner in which caregivers go above and beyond in their approach to their responsibilities.
Before becoming critical, I believe it behooves The Daily News editorial staff to spend a few hours in this facility to become familiar with the demands on caregivers and to become more familiar with the scope of their tasks and difficulties they wrestle with each day.
I am constantly moved by the compassion and consideration universally provided to residents, and I am daily moved by the constant efforts to make this facility truly a home before a hospital.
The nature of dementia makes many behaviours unpredictable and puts caregivers as well as residents at some risk. In a perfect world, we would have greater accommodations for the mentally ill rather than just grouping them with the dementia patients.
As long as we fail as a society to properly identify and treat mental illness we will all be at risk. At this point I risk becoming political and choose not to do so.
I can only say with conviction, that Overlander Extended Care facility is a home that as a community we should be extremely proud of. I leave each day knowing that my loved one is receiving the very best of care, in a safe and loving environment.
JACK. A BUCKHAM