Globe and Mail journalist and author André Picard brings interactive presentation to CapU Health Care Assistant students

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Tag(s): Education, Health & Human Development

André Picard, award winning author and the Globe and Mail's health reporter and columnist (photo: Globe and Mail)

Globe and Mail health reporter and award winning author André Picard shared his extensive knowledge and passionate advocacy for safe elder care with Capilano University’s Health Care Assistant students on October 25. 

The virtual presentation and interactive question period attracted over 30 students from both the university’s main campus in North Vancouver and the Kálax-ay campus in Sechelt, B.C. 

"Students choosing a career in service to our elders may face systemic and societal challenges. Hearing directly from André Picard was an opportunity to speak directly with someone who has their finger on the pulse of elder care in Canada,” Joshua Boyd, co-coordinator, Health Care Assistant program, Capilano University.”

Picard's new book, Neglected No More: The Urgent Need to Improve the Lives of Canada's Elders in the Wake of a Pandemic (2021) offers a current and highly relevant analysis of challenges health care students will face on the job, and the challenges endured by elderly persons who will be dependent on them for care, explains Boyd. It gives a realistic and national perspective to the responsibility they undertake, as well as solutions for how the system might be corrected.

“He clearly identified the value of Health Care Assistants as an integral part of the solution to the current challenges in elder care and emphasized the need to provide good working conditions, full-time work and fair wages to persons in this role,” said Boyd. 

Picard ended his presentation with examples of where elders were well cared for and by congratulating the students on the career choice, with a focus on how their choice is making an important difference in Canada.   

Student reflections

"One thing that resonated for me was when he spoke about the benefits of keeping elders in their home as long as possible and using long-term care as a last resort. That is an important perspective and one that all families should have when taking care of their elders." – Harley Wilson, Health Care Assistant student

"I was struck by something he said: 'The conditions of work are the conditions of care. When care workers are well treated, the people they care for end up being well cared for." – Nil Landrito, Health Care Assistant student

"There were many things he said that were jaw dropping and quite sobering. Some things he said I will use as a guiding force in my career. For example: "Sitting and having tea with a resident is not a waste of time, it's an investment." It's not always about medical things at a care home, it should be more about nurturing the whole health of the resident, which includes spending time”. – Lithena Gibson, Health Care Assistant student

"It was helpful on many levels to listen to and engage with Andre Picard and it was so relevant to all aspects of Health Care Assistant work." - Jacquie Tyson, Health Care Assistant student


Photo of book cover for Neglected No More The Urgent Need to Improve the Lives of Canada's Elders in the Wake of a Pandemic

Submitted by: Communications