After eight years of standing vigil in front of Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) each February to draw attention to what he sees as misplaced priorities and a lack of caring, Jim Albo still hasn’t forgiven the Interior Health Authority for the decisions they made that he believes lead to the deaths of his elderly parents.
“I’m here because they killed my parents,” said Albo. “That’s why the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Seniors was created and why I stand here every year.”
In 2006 Albo’s parents, Fanny and Alfie were patients at KBRH when Albo’s 91 year-old mother was transferred to a facility in Grand Forks where she died two days later.
Albo’s father never got over the loss of his wife of 69 years and died a week later.
“I’m bitter. This day is hard for me,” Albo said. “I could make it easier by not being here but people need to get involved because their day is going to come and I don’t want anyone else to have to go through a similar experience.”
Kootenay West MLA, Katrine Conroy, who is the opposition critic for seniors and long term care, has been involved with the Albos since they lost their parents.
“It was one of the first major issues I had after being elected,” Conroy told the Times from Victoria. “It still has an impact to this day.
Things have improved but we still get calls from people whose parents have been separated. It shouldn’t still happen.”