IH responds to letter

I am writing in regards to the Nov. 8 letter Unjust policy at IH.

This information is incorrect. Interior Health has no policy that would discriminate against any medical condition, including a specific form of dementia, when looking at an individual’s care planning, eligibility or admission to long-term care.   

In cases where an individual requires a very specific type of care, Interior Health would discuss options with the individual and family to ensure they receive that care in a timely manner in the right place. 

Cindy Kozak-Campbell

Executive director, IH residential services

This is unbelievable! Interior Health policy: elderly adults with dementia related to alcoholism will not be considered for admittance into care. 

Apparently, even though it has long been recognized that alcoholism is a disease and dementia is a disease, regardless of how it is caused, IH can refuse access to appropriate care. Is this the brave new future? Care being withheld pending determination of the behaviour leading up to the disease? Are there other "preventable"  illnesses that cause dementia? 

Would it help if alcoholism had a crisis label attached? Should the families of these victims push them out in the street so they can be rescued? Must elderly care givers sacrifice their health, their security and their homes trying to cope with a situation completely beyond their competency?

If cost is going to be the excuse for continuing this practice, use some of the money being poured into TV ads explaining that opioid addicts are our neighbours who deserve compassion and support. Or is that only until they are diagnosed with dementia? 

This is an untenable, unfair and unjust policy.

At the very least, however ironically, alcoholics with dementia should be entitled to care, having already paid for it via the taxes the government has collected while they were drinking themselves into this condition.

E.J. Walker, Okanagan Falls

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