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Yesterday we visited our friend Ray, a 75 year old gentlemen, who is in the University Hospital in
London Ontario. A couple of weeks ago he experienced Tachycardia and went to the Emergency Room. He and his caring wife, Mary had to. wait 10 hours to be seen by a Physician after which he was sent home with a prescription. The dosage prescribed had to be changed and off they went to the ER. the next day.

As fate would have it Ray came down with the flu that quickly changed to Pneumonia. He has now been in the hospital for over four weeks with Mary visiting twice a day.

An Intensive Care Doctor, " Bob Reality" explained to me the new facts of life for seniors who need medical attention. The population according to Stats Canada in 2017 was 35 million growing at just 5% per year. But, the fastest growing population numbers are citizens 60 plus years who make up 29% (12 million) of the general population. It is estimated that the seniors account for 90% of the medical costs.

In what is supposed to be the golden age our senior citizens can be a burden on the system. Getting
old is not for sissies. Hip/knee/ heart valve replacements along with the dreaded Cancer, Alzheimer are too often the consequences of ageing. My father taught me that: " he had worked very hard to get old;
he questioned "if it was all worth the effort?"

During my last yearly medical my doctor told me that I was not going to have my P.S.A Prostate numbers checked. I more in likely will pass away from old age before the Prostate Cancer kills me No need to have my regular ECG monitoring after reaching the golden cut off age of 65. My wife was not going to have her yearly Pap Smear because of her age.

The Ontario Provincial Liberal Minister of Health has ruled that the Cardiac Fitness Institute recovery program at Victoria Hospital was going to be scaled back to just 6 months of monitoring at St Joseph’s Hospital to save money. In the long run the program kept seniors alive/ away from the expensive ER
and provided a better quality of life for the heart patients.

It seems that our provincial government is concentrating on the quality of one’s life rather then one’s longevity. Expensive life saving short term fixes are not economically viable use of the tax
payer’s money allocations. It matters not how long a person shall live only how well they live that really matters.

So, with the easy access to health care denied what is a senior citizen to do in Dorchester? For non life threatening emergency care one should look close to home at the Alexandra Hospital in Ingersoll. St Joseph’s Urgent Care in London offers up fast competent care. The London Health Science Center, Victoria Hospital Campus, usually has very long wait times. Best to see your own primary physician the next day if it is not an emergency.

My friend Isaac (Laughing) prays that he will die healthy in his sleep in his bed at home. No long painful weeks in a sterile cold hospital room attached to a monitor/ intravenous tubes with little or no hope of recovery.

When all else fails perhaps we should focus on the Serenity Prayer."God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference. Living/enjoying one peaceful moment at a time."

The sages teach us that; Yesterday is history: to-day is the present, a gift; to-morrow is a mystery. Live/enjoy each day as if it was your last.

Len Lesser is an education/career counselor in Dorchester.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com