Let's Count Our Blessings

Dear Editor;
This spring my husband, Don, suffered a minor spinal stroke, ended up with paralyzed legs, and spent weeks in the acute section of our local hospital. Thankfully, he has now been admitted to Continuing Care (CC).
Thus I feel qualified to make some personal comments on this facility, as well as the article by Evelyn Howe in the June 29 issue of The Capital. We appreciated her in-depth analysis, concerns, questions, and suggestions for improvement.
However, regarding baths, many of us seniors were raised with one bath per week (I was, with water drawn by horses from the river, and softened with ashes!). Granted many residents have unusual hygienic needs, but I am told that, in addition to baths, they are usually sponged off twice a day. To us, that's plenty! They sit most of their days, are not sweating or working in a dirty garden. Millions in our world living in very hot, humid countries, scarcely have sufficient water to drink let alone to bathe every day! The body does adjust.
Regarding food, Don has never been a fussy eater, so he's been very grateful, content, and insists "this place is like a four-star Hilton hotel!" I've marvelled that institutionally cooked food could be so tasty. Of course, home-cooked food of organically grown produce is better, but most residents seem to be living pretty long lives. We've been in countries where people exist with food from garbage bins, or is financed by digging items to sell from mountains of city garbage.
Our facility may be understaffed and overworked, and for that we are concerned. But we've been amazed at their gracious attitudes, willingness to answer questions, their personal and yet very professional conduct. Recently in CC they "went the second mile" to accommodate our family as we celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary.
Last week I received some interesting facts about their department: Currently it is delivering health care programs and services to 3.6 million Albertans. It is Canada's first province-wide, fully integrated health system. It will add more than 3,000 CC beds over the next few years (in addition to the 19,500 spaces they already have). Impressive!
Some years ago, Don and I were in India entering a building via a short flight of stairs, a landing, then another flight. On that landing lay an elderly, grey-haired lady, "skin and bones," lying on a piece of cardboard, expiring! So, along with discussions of possible improvements, let's be sure to count our blessings. We do!
Vivian Bruck