I don’t want to tell you the story of how Dodo died, I want to tell you the story of how she should have died.
Dodo was my Nonna’s best friend for 70 years.
Dodo was a paragon of working class feminist independence. She lived by herself for all the time I knew her in Toronto. She would brace against osteoarthritis and a hip replacement to climb the stairs up and down everyday.
Her collection of books and voracious appetite for knowledge made it known to everyone that she was a dangerous woman.
Dodo deserved so much better than how her story ended this year. She lost any sense of privacy as she lived out her last days in long term care. She became one of too many Ontarians who live in rooms of 3-4 people. Warehousing for our elders.
I will never be able to thank every nurse and personal support worker enough.
They wheeled Dodo to dinner. They checked her blood pressure and alerted a doctor when a dose needed changing. They answered the phone and held it up so we could have our final phone calls.
But I know the profiteers in our long term care system don’t treat those workers with respect.
For decades, privatization has been allowed to run rampant in our long-term care homes. We didn’t get here overnight just because Doug Ford was elected in 2018.
The state of Ontario’s long term care sector is a direct result of 15 years of neglect, underfunding, and privatization under the former Liberal government.
And as mad as I am about that, I don’t want to tell you the story of how Dodo died, I want to tell you the story of how she should have died.
Dodo should have been able to hold the hands of her loved ones on her last days.
Dodo should have been surrounded by the love of visitors, because the pandemic was under control, and the elders in our long-term care homes were protected.
Dodo should have had more hands-on care than could be provided at a facility that understaffed, underpays and mistreats their workers.
The story I want to tell you is one where long term care is properly funded and universally not-for-profit.
The story of how Dodo should have died is the kind of future I know only an NDP Government will fight for.
Together, by re-electing Suze Morrison, we can create a better long term care system that puts seniors first.