What Were They Thinking?
"What Were They Thinking" is a new feature of the Seniors and Alcohol website, identifying what might be generously called "less than best practice".
By that, it means that the responsible bodies may not have an idea of alcohol issues affecting older adults, good and bad. Some treated older adults in a paternalistic manner.
Others may not be aware that alcohol problems can develop among older adults, just as they can in other age groups.
The candidates in 2002-3 include:
1) An administrator of Manitoba Housing in Winnipeg, Manitoba who threatened to shut down the tenants' council in a seniors housing complex in December, 2002 because the tenants were being served a small glass of wine with their Christmas dinner together, a tradition they had for many years.
"They treat us like we're a bunch of kindergarteners instead of seniors," said Ruth Kirkwood, a resident and vice-president of the building tenants' association, which has organized the Christmas dinner since 1980.
"We've always been allowed to have a drink with our Christmas dinner."
2) A pharmacy department in a Calgary, Alberta hospital that decided to give away bottles of wine as prizes for questions and quizzes about medications during Pharmacy Awareness Week in March 2003.
3) Manitoba Liquor Commission for advertising home delivery of alcohol in a seniors' newsletter. Is it appropriate for a government body to encourage drinking?
For more information on home delivery issues, but in the context of private delivery and "vulnerable populations", click here.