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Red Deer Advocate - Letters to the Editor
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Moving Michener residents discards our most vulnerable

My brother Larry has lived at Michener Centre for 50 years; he is fragile and unlikely to survive relocation. The reasons are multifaceted and include:

When clients leave, continuity of care is completely lost.

Clients are non-verbal.

The level of funding/staffing at Michener, and consequently, care, cannot be replicated. Clients who move lose all they have ever known: staff who have worked with them for many years (they are their family, they are our family), decades-long friendships, the only home many have ever known.

These fragile, vulnerable souls are gifts to us, for those who wish to see that. And they are being discarded.

All are fragile.

Michener staff’s mission has been to provide the best quality of life possible, to advocate for their charges, to care for them as their own.

Now, however, when caregivers express concerns, they are told to longer speak for beloved clients, they are to follow orders and move ’em out. Imagine being in their shoes.

Elderly parents of residents continue to love, worry and advocate for their voiceless, choiceless, voteless middle-aged children.

Just when they thought their child would be safe and loved for the remainder of their days, parents in their 80s and 90s must begin again. The parenting of a disabled child never ends.

Larry is a 52-year-old infant.

Diane Esslinger


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