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Elder abuse coverup in Ontario hospital

A Toronto-area family says that their 90-year-old matriarch was assaulted sexually in a local hospital and that it was covered up. The Ontario resident was admitted to the facility for pneumonia. While she was struggling, her health was gradually improving. Unfortunately, hospitals and long-term care facilities have been known to be places where elder abuse occurs on occasion.

The elderly woman's family suspected something was wrong when she stopped speaking and tried to protect her chest and genital areas. She also clenched her teeth a lot of the time and always appeared to have an angry face. She had bruises on her bottom lip and her arms. Her family had her discharged from the hospital and took her back to the nursing home where she had been living.

About two months later during a meeting between the family and hospital staff, it was revealed that a staff member had walked into the woman's room when she was a patient at the facility. The staff member reported seeing a male personal support worker (PSW) doing what the staff member termed "ungodly" things to the old woman. Hospital officials told the woman's family member they didn't call police, but did fire the PSW.

When a complaint came from another family about a similar incident regarding their loved one, police investigated and found the same PSW was employed at a nursing home where he apparently abused two other senior citizens. He was ultimately slapped with more than 12 charges. The PSW pleaded guilty to one charge of assault and walked away with three years probation.

In Ontario reporting elder abuse is only mandatory if the victim is in a long-term care or retirement facility. There are no federal laws requiring that elder abuse must be reported either. PSWs aren't regulated in Ontario -- something the elderly victim's family is lobbying for. Legal support is available for elder abuse victims and their families. Working with an experienced lawyer can bring the issue out into the open, and legal recourse for monetary damages sustained may be pursued.





Source:, "Ontario family calls for justice after allegations of elder abuse", Lama Nicolas, Aug. 24, 2017

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