Home support should offer gender-specific bathing for Creston seniors

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To the Editor:

How many of you know that on May 24, a letter was sent to Creston seniors who were receiving home support care advising that effective June 7, Creston Valley Home Support Services would no longer be providing gender-specific personal care and bathing. The option was given to hire a private worker if this was unsatisfactory to them. I guess the assumption was made that everyone could afford to do so. The wording of the letter does not leave room for discussion. It is very much as “this is the way it is going to be” letter.

Does it bother anyone else that our seniors are treated this way? Surely we understand that the personal privacy of our loved ones needs to be understood. I am uncomfortable when I need to have a male doctor attend to any female issues, and I assume the same is true vice versa. It doesn’t matter how professional or well trained they are. How much more uncomfortable must personal bathing and toilet tasks be, especially for seniors who were raised in a culture where they did not expose themselves, even at the beach?

For some seniors, this may not be an issue. However, for some, this may be too disturbing and cause undue stress on an already fragile mental state. Is there not some way to alleviate this situation for those who will just not be able to adjust because this is just not a part of who they have even been?

Why does this have to happen? Surely with some creative thinking and consultation with the seniors themselves, another solution exists.

Doreen Rogne