Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Elder Abuse and Neglect - my heart weeps

Much has been written on this topic. And in one post I differentiated abuse from neglect, including self-neglect. My heart weeps for those around us. In our midst. People we have known for years. Formerly successful people who suffer in their homes: undiagnosed diabetes, gangrene, infections and self-abuse.

It is the right of those who are ill and failing, to have dignity in their own homes. They have the right to support services, professionals like Social Workers, caregivers, to assist them in ADLs and IADLs. There does come a point when self-neglect, due to failing physical bodies and minds; incontinence, addictions, mental health issues, renders the client unable to determine adequate levels of care standards.

We know that at these times, common sense (PHIPA precludes FIPPA when it is a safety issue) and allows health care professionals to act and intercede on an individual's behalf after declaring him incapable of self-care. I worry over the Privacy Acts in Ontario. The medical profession doesn't get it.  It is criminal what health care does to those alone and ignores those who profess to be 'fine'. It is easier for workers to cite personal choice, over a personal sense of humanity and dignity, when refusing to intercede on a citizen's behalf.

People, like Dirty George, in Toronto, have no advocates. Health workers are not trained, let alone landlords, neighbours, Meals on Wheels volunteers, to intervene and protect these people from self-neglect. Seniors are prone to dementia-related disorders or delirium when medications are not taken, or not taken as prescribed. Physicians must be vigilant in diagnosing such issues soon.

*OPP Tip Sheet: Abuse of Older Adults (PDF)

Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse
416-916-6748, admin @,

Jun 19, 2009
presentations by opp's et. sgt. robin sanders, det. con., leslie raymond, jayson swain (lawyer), raeann rideout ( enhanced our knowledge.if you are unsure what this topic entails, read 't is for trespass', by sue grafton, -

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