"Rise in the presence of the aged, and show respect for the elderly."

A Broken System

Home > Abuse & Neglect Studies Letters & Reports > A Broken System


As soon as my dad died, my two siblings took control of mom, who had undiagnosed dementia at the time. They used isolation tactics, misinformation, bullying and chaos.

Within a month, mom was suspicious of myself and my sister, believing that we were going to put her into an old folks home, and was convinced to change her Power of Attorney and Personal Directive to limit our capacity to help her.

Within a year, my two siblings emptied the estate from over one million dollars worth of property, bank accounts and other assets, down to $100,000 cash. Mom was abandoned by the two siblings in an independent elderly living facility which was incapable of supplying the level of care that a person with moderate dementia needed.

In order to try to help my mom, I asked senior family members, mom’s pastors and senior deacons in the church to help informally mediate this situation. They declined

Against their own advertising at the time, the Public Trustee refused to assist.

The Public Guardian was unable to assist as mom’s doctor had failed to enact mom’s Personal Directive as per the law.

The Society for Physicians and Surgeons denied an investigation. In the director’s review, the rules of the English language sentence structure were completely turned on end to support the doctor’s failure. The appeal board then sent me a completely redacted copy of the doctor’s response and “made up an excuse” to support the doctor.

Because mom was in a publicly funded facility, I reported abuse by my brother, mom’s agent, to the management. They denied that anything could happen and failed to do anything at all to protect my mom, which is against the PPC Act.

The Protection for Persons in Care initially conducted a partial investigation, but then taking management’s side, denied an investigation. The director upheld the denial of investigation stating twice in her report, that there were no other sources from which to collect information besides management. The PPC failed to interview the actual caregivers or RN’s who cared for mom and failed to look at mom’s actual in-house documents.

In my third attempt to get help for mom from the Public Guardian, the director stated that “according to the law, the agent only has to make a decision, not actually ensure it is carried out.” This is an unreasonable interpretation of the intent of the law.

The RCMP told me that “there was not enough money involved,” and “there are no laws against elder abuse,” and “mom, who has dementia, has to be the one to report not her advocate, me.”

I was denied closure when my two siblings cremated my mom’s body and waited for over a month to conduct a funeral. They gave me about one hour’s notice knowing it would take me five and a half hours to get there. Mom’s ashes were interred three years later when I was unable to attend due to legal issues.

For three years, I went to my mom’s empty grave to mourn her loss and to mourn the horrendous nature of elder abuse.

Perpetrators of elder abuse already know that their behaviour is against society’s rules and norms. They just don’t care. Perpetrators want power, control, authority, money, property, assets. They don’t care about family or relationships. They know that there are no strong or enforceable disincentives against their behaviour. They know that the current rules and laws are flawed in their favour. They know that the human nature of disbelief, personal prestige and cover-up will protect them. They know that the time and cost of litigation will protect them. Perpetrators of Elder Abuse are able to manage the impressions of other about what they are doing and not doing.

Our elders have the right to the same protection and due process under the law and it is our duty and our honour to provide that to them.