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(en) Canada, Collectif Emma Goldman - Residences for seniors (RPA): The lives of seniors matter (ca, de, fr, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Sat, 18 Mar 2023 08:33:20 +0200

9 years ago, on January 23, 2014, a terrible fire shattered the nocturnal tranquility of the village of Isle-Verte in Bas-du-Fleuve. The private residence for elderly people (RPA) in Le Havre would show some of the shortcomings of a capitalist model of treatment for the elderly in our society. 32 elderly people perished in the blaze. Profit before life; the coroner's inquest showed that there was no sprinkler system in the sections inhabited by non-autonomous patients and that there was a lack of training and preparation to intervene in such a situation, in addition a shortage of volunteer firefighters in the village. ---- 9 years later, not only must we admit that the drama has proven ineffective in changing mentalities in the retirement home market, but dozens of RPA owners are currently threatening to close their establishment if Quebec maintains its deadline. obligation for sprinklers by December 2024 (a deadline, it should be remembered, that the government has already pushed back in the face of pressure). In Quebec, more than a hundred residents of the RPA Villa Sainte-Foy have just learned by mail that the building they live in has just been sold and will be converted into rental housing. The owner decided to sell, simply because he found the costs of complying with the new standards too high. What the market allows is absolutely horrible for the hundred people who relied on that roof.

RPA owners are currently arm wrestling with the government for more support. However, they are not to be pitied with average monthly rents reaching several thousand dollars and à la carte costs which are increasing drastically. It is the elderly who are trapped, too often without protection and in a situation of dependency, in the macabre thirst for profit of these owners. Despite this, Quebec already helps considerably, even too much, private RPAs. As the Enquête program revealed in the fall of 2020, RPAs have been considered for several years now as a good investment by investors, "grey gold". What interests them is not to ensure that they offer dignified conditions to their residents, but to obtain the greatest possible return on their investments: profits in other words. To be clear, they take advantage of an ageist system, a social relationship of domination that socially assigns a position of power to individuals, differentiated according to their age group. They certainly do not balk at the impoverishment of the elderly, the refusal to put in place the most basic safety measures for people who are not autonomous, the cuts in services and they instil their commercial vision of the person in the staff who see the caregiver-patient ratio continues to increase. Meager campaigns aimed at defending the rights of the elderly and denouncing abuses will do very little in this context. We will certainly have to continue to denounce cases of abuse towards and against the institutions that seek to silence them, but we will also have to put our finger on the roots of the problem: the mechanisms of ageist domination deeply rooted in our politico-economic system. and its institutions. Beyond raising awareness, it will be necessary to build convergence with all the elderly who are fed up and support the development of initiatives and self-organization in their communities and fight the system.

For a complete analysis of ageism towards the elderly, the following two articles should be consulted:
- Ageism: another system of oppression to fight here and now!
- Ageism: What do older people want?

An anarchist from Pekuakami
by Emma Goldman Collective

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