ROTHENBURGER – Imagine how different it would be if we’d taken care of our seniors

Author’s Gramma with her grand-children. The kid with the blonde hair is the author.

THE FIRST LONG-TERM CARE home I ever visited left an indelible impression.

I was a kid, and my grandmother Justina Hohm had been placed there when Alzheimer’s made it impossible for her to live on her own. I visited her along with my parents and brother and I remember her being the same sweet, gentle woman I had always known except for one thing: she didn’t know who we were.

Even my father, who had done so much to defend her and look after her for so many years, was a stranger in her eyes. “And you are?” she would ask every once in a while.

It was heart-breaking. And yet, it was a good facility, clean, cheerful, well-run. It’s my recollection that it was a government-run building, pre-privatization.

Much has changed in the field since then and, today, long-term care facilities (or, nursing homes or extended care, if you prefer) are much under scrutiny. A report on five Ontario long-term care homes has painted a shocking picture of neglect and abuse of their elderly residents.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former school board chair, former editor of The Kamloops Daily News, and a current director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He was awarded the Jack Webster Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2011 and was a 2019 Commentator of the Year finalist in the Webster Awards. His editorials are published Monday through Thursdays, and Saturdays on CFJC Today, CFJC Midday and CFJC Evening News. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (9116 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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