Catherine Fife MPP, Waterloo

Government of Ontario

Elderly couples kept apart by broken long-term care system, broken Liberal promises

Published on February 27, 2018

NDP: Elderly couples kept apart by broken long-term care system, broken Liberal promises

QUEEN’S PARK—Kitchener-Waterloo NDP MPP Catherine Fife says Ontario’s broken long-term care system is forcing couples apart, like Don and Patricia Deighton, who have been married for 64 years, but are being kept apart as the Wynne Liberals fail to address reunification cases across the province.

“For the past few Friday's , I have driven Don to see Patricia, they are a loving couple and they miss each other" said Fife in question period on Tuesday.

“The Minister of Health claims that a new reunification regulation has solved the problem - but the Deighton's are still separated. In fact, Patricia's care worker has asked 387 residents to switch homes and make space for Don - but the list has been exhausted and there is no hope for reunification in sight. This is unacceptable.”

Fife said that she has been working since December to reunite the Deightons but the Wynne Liberals continue to let them down, with many elderly couples forced to live apart for the first time in decades when one enters long-term care. Fife says a lack of long-term care beds throughout the province leaves elderly couples with different care needs struggling to stay together.

[NDP Health Critics France Gélinas] has been trying to reunite 91 year old Gottfried Adler and his 88 year old wife Hildegard as well,” said Fife. “The Adlers have been separated for over six months after 67 years of marriage. Like the Deightons, the Adlers are emotionally distressed because of their separation. Ontario’s seniors shouldn’t have to settle for a long-term care system that repeatedly breaks promises, and their hearts.”

Fife called on the government to act, asking, “Can the Minister of Health explain why this Liberal government is saying that there is no longer a problem with couple reunification in our long-term-care homes, when Don and Patricia are still living apart?

"Will the Minister of Health & LTC directly intervene to reunite the Deightons and the Adlers, today?”