what i said to the senators



On Monday, January 30, 2017, I addressed Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. I told part of my story. There’s much more to tell. But I was pleased when Senator Ogilvie, who chairs the committee, responded in a way that validated once again what I know to be the case about the use of antipsychotics in dementia care.

“One of the things we noted in our four-part study on over-medication in Canada is that it is widespread throughout the entire medical spectrum,” Senator Ogilvie said, “and it becomes pronounced in senior care and even more pronounced in the case of patients with dementia. It is a major, dramatic problem.”

The senator went on the say that seniors’ human rights are “hugely violated in many areas,” particularly with respect to over-medication. I also wanted to high-five Professor Linda Garcia of the University of Ottawa, who said of LTCF care workers: “The people who do want to do good, and who do get it, can’t.” She is so right. Blocked by old glass-half-empty mindsets, I suspect these potential innovators leave the profession out of frustration at the poor standard of care as well as their impotence to do anything to change it. Being a whistleblower or an advocate is a tough row to hoe as I have found out these last ten years.

I’ve extracted my bit of the Q & A, along with their comments in the video below. The full two-and-a half-hour session may be viewed here.

Listen to or read my poem for the senate.

Subscribe to my free updates here.


  1. Well said, Susan. Nice going. As a supporter, champion, upholder, promoter, crusader, fighter, spokesperson and campaigner for the rights of those who are aging, I wholeheartedly applaud you!!! We must all pitch in to fight this fight together NOW and advocate for those who cannot fight for themselves, because some day, those in need WILL become us. It’s not a matter of IF, but rather WHEN. If not us, then who? If not now, then when? Right? Time is of the essence and we must get this right. Thank you for sharing your voice, for fighting the good fight and for helping all of those who are on the path behind you to find their way in the dark.

    • “We must all pitch in to fight this fight together NOW and advocate for those who cannot fight for themselves, because some day, those in need WILL become us.”

      Yes, and because it’s just plain the right thing to do.

  2. Lorraine Castro on

    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story me and my husband are using your story to help us care for his mom my mother in law best friend who means the world to us this is all new to us therefore I once again thank you for sharing it’s helping us in more ways than words can express

    • Thanks Lorraine, for your kind and heartfelt words. It was all new to me too and I’ve learned so much, I’m happy to be able to share it with others and thus give it all purpose and meaning. i hope you find joy and healing as I did, even though it was also the hardest thing I have ever done. Stay in touch when you can <3

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