LTC and LGBTQ2S Seniors By Shoshana Pellman

Editors Note:
Liz Pearl

These past weeks have been very difficult for many people, on various fronts. Residents of LTC and other vulnerable and marginalized populations have lived with extraordinarily challenging circumstances. Shoshana Pellman is a proud advocate for these communities, providing a strong voice within her communities and beyond. She advocates for social justice, inclusion and diversity and equal rights. Thank you Shoshana for stepping-up during these unusual and confusing and troublesome times. Society needs more courageous advocates and wise ambassadors.

Shoshana Pellman is a previously featured author in Living Legacies – A Collection of Inspiring Personal Narratives by Contemporary Canadian Jewish Women (PK Press).


Folks…So here we are, in June 2020 with seniors still getting infected with Covid-19, becoming sick and some are dying in Long Term Care (LTC), while their loved ones cannot be there for them in person in any way because the health system hasn’t yet decided if wearing a mask provides adequate protection! Yet, for those travelling on public transit, apparently, a mask is sufficient!!?? WT€%~%£€…Where is the rationale and justice in these contradictory and ambiguous decisions.

That was a rant about loved ones who want to BUT aren’t allowed to visit or care for their aging family members, currently living in LTC. It’s heartbreaking.

The added burden on the front line staff care-providers is growing by the day. Typically, LTC facilities rely heavily on the support of family members and volunteers: currently not permitted entry.

I am a proud member of the LGBTQ2S communities, and like many other seniors, I worry about friends who are living in LTC and in the closet. Many of those in LTC don’t have family (children…) to advocate for them or just visit them, and so regretfully, they fall in between the cracks.

Covid-19 has opened a Pandora’s Box; it has shown us that there is much to be done to give a voice to residents in LTC who either cannot or are afraid to speak their truth. My parents are no longer living. However, I do have friends who have loved ones living in LTC and it’s enormously challenging for all those impacted. Advocacy is essential.

I am ready to march with them. Who will join me?

Letters to the authorities do not work because they cannot adequately give voice to the pain and agony experienced by many in these marginalized populations. It’s time to raise our voices. ASAP.

Shoshana Pellman, Toronto

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