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Opinion: Protect seniors from big business

Western business mentality and, by extension, collective society, allowed the well-being of our oldest family members to be decided by corporate profit-margin measures.
seniors
People should be more worried about how long-term care homes have become big, profitable businesses. Getty Images

The common yet questionable refrain still prevails in Western capitalist nation governments and corporate circles: Best business practices, including what's best for the consumers, are best decided by business decision makers. Clearly evidenced by, as a good example, the many needless care-home deaths, big business does not always practice what’s best for its consumers, including the most vulnerable. Maximizing profits by risking the health or lives of product consumers will likely always be a significant part of the nature of the big business beast. Therefore, families may still have reason to worry over their loved-ones being left vulnerable by measures taken by some long-term care-home businesses to maximize profits.

Like with some U.S. states, there was nursing home neglect in Canada before COVID-19, although the actual extent was made horrifically clear when the pandemic really hit. (Resultantly, I must admire some non-Western cultures for their general practice of not placing their aged family members in seniors care homes.) A most morbid example was the CHSLD Résidence Herron long-term care home in Quebec about 11 months ago, where 47 residents perished. The neglect had become so extreme that the Canadian Armed Forces got involved. 

Western business mentality and, by extension, collective society, allowed the well-being of our oldest family members to be decided by corporate profit-margin measures. And our governments mostly dared not intervene, perhaps because they feared being labelled as anti-business in our avidly capitalist culture. I find astonishing that our society still allows the blatant commercialization of our dear senior citizens, even after the care-home COVID horrors. Is nothing off limits to big business interests? 

Frank Sterle Jr.  

White Ro​ck