A look at… 1.Provincial legislation 2.Who can you call?
Legislation related to elder abuse 1. Criminal Code (Federal) 2.The Mental Health Act (Provincial) 3.Neglected Adults Act (Provincial) Plus new act coming soon…
The Provincial Legislation Both (Mental Health Act/Neglected Adults Act) are not specifically “elder abuse” legislation. Both deal with people who are not mentally competent.
What does this mean? If an abused senior is mentally competent (and their abuse does not fall under the Criminal Code), you can refer him/her for supports (if he/she wishes) but the abuse is not a criminal matter (abuser will not be charged).
Mental Health Act Occasionally used to remove a senior from an abusive environment if a police officer observes a person “acting in a disorderly or dangerous manner” and… the person appears to have a mental disorder “to a degree that the person requires hospitalization in the interests of his or her own safety, safety to others, or safety to property.”
Neglected Adults Act Enacted in 1973 Based on Child Protection Legislation Deals with “neglect” (or self-neglect) Requires mandatory reporting Considered an “extreme measure” – may result in senior becoming a “ward of the state”
Neglected Adults Act: Criteria For the Neglected Adults Act to be invoked, four criteria must be met – that is, the individual… 1. …is incapable of caring properly for himself or herself because of physical or mental infirmity. 2. …is not suitable to be in a treatment facility under the Mental Health Act
Neglected Adults Act: Criteria con’t 3. …is not receiving proper care and attention, and 4. …refuses, delays or is unable to make provision for proper care and attention for himself or herself.
Reminder: It is mandatory to report a suspected case of neglect if an adult appears to meet these criteria. Neglect should be reported to your Regional Health Authority. (up to $200 fine)
New Legislation: Adult Protection Act Assented to May 2011 Not yet proclaimed Covers “abuse” Currently Department of Health working on developing policies and regulations for the act Available online at: http://assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/ statutes/a04-01.htm
Principles Least restrictive and intrusive Presumed Capacity Right to be heard and participate in decision-making Regular review (6 months/one year)
Press release (April 5, 2011) “The purpose of the act is to protect adults who are incapable of caring properly for themselves; refuse, or are unable, to make decisions for care on their own behalf; and, who are not currently receiving proper care and attention.” http://releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2011/health/0405n07.htm
Changes in legislation “ The inclusion of a definition of abuse that allows the Regional Health Authorities to investigate suspected cases of abuse involving vulnerable adults, including physical, psychological, emotional and financial abuse.” Summarized from press release (April 5, 2011) http://releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2011/health/0405n07.htm
Changes in legislation (con’t) “Emphasis is placed on an individual making his or her own decisions where possible.” More timely response (evaluations must be made in 5 days or less) “Provisions to permit Regional Health Authorities to intervene more quickly in emergency situations to reduce the risk of leaving an individual in a dangerous circumstance” Summarized from press release (April 5, 2011) http://releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2011/health/0405n07.htm
Changes in legislation (con’t) An increase in the penalties associated with violating the act: Those found guilty can face a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment not exceeding one year. “The act requires anyone who believes an adult may be in need of protective intervention to report that information to a social worker or police officer.” Summarized from press release (April 5, 2011) http://releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2011/health/0405n07.htm
Adult in Need of Protection An adult who lacks capacity and who is (1) incapable of caring for herself and himself, or who refuses or delays or is unable to make provision for adequate care and attention for herself or himself; or (2) is abused or neglected. New Act: Definitions
Neglect The failure to provide care, assistance, guidance or attention to an adult who lacks capacity that causes, or is reasonably likely, within a short period of time, to cause to the adult serious physical, psychological or emotional harm or substantial damage to, or substantial loss of assets. New Act: Definitions (con’t)
Self Neglect The failure of an adult who lacks capacity to take adequate care of himself or herself where that failure causes, or is reasonably likely, within a short period of time, to cause serious physical or psychological harm or substantial damage to or substantial loss of assets. New Act: Definitions (con’t)
Self Neglect Self-neglect includes (1) living in grossly unsanitary conditions; (2) suffering from an untreated illness, disease or injury that, within a short period of time is likely to cause physical or psychological harm; New Act: Definitions (con’t)
Self Neglect (3) suffering from malnutrition to the extent that, without intervention, the adult's physical or mental health is likely to be severely impaired; and (4) creating a hazardous situation that will likely cause serious physical harm to the adult or others or cause substantial damage to or substantial loss of the adult’s assets. New Act: Definitions (con’t)
Abuse The deliberate mistreatment of an adult who lacks the capacity to protect himself or herself that causes or is reasonably likely, within a short period of time, to cause the adult (1) serious physical, psychological or emotional harm, or (2) substantial damage to or substantial loss of assets. Abuse includes intimidation, humiliation and sexual assault. New Act: Definitions (con’t)
Where to go for help: Who Can You Call If You Are In Immediate Danger? Dial 911 where the service is available or dial “0” for the operator and you will be connected to emergency response. For your nearest RCMP detachment: 1- 800- 709- 7267, TTY 1-800-563 2172 Or for the RNC: St. John’s: 709- 729-8000, TTY 1-800-363-4334 Corner Brook 709-637-4100, TTY 1-800-363-4334 Labrador City 709-944-7602 Churchill Falls 709-925 3524
Who can you talk to about getting the help you need? Seniors Resource Centre of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Seniors Information Line: 1- 800-563-5599. This line is answered by seniors with training to help you find the supports you need. Caregiver Line 1-888-571-2273. Information and support for unpaid caregivers. Who can you call when in a crisis or feeling distressed (open 24 hours/day)? Sexual Assault Crisis Line: 1-800-726-2743 Mental Health Crisis Line: 1- 888-737-4668 Where to go for help:
To contact your Regional Health Authority for support with elder abuse concerns, please call: Eastern Health: Rural Avalon - 709-786-5245 St. John’s - 709-752-4885 Bonavista/Clarenville/Burin Penin. - 709-466-5707 Central Health: 709-651-6340 Western Health: 709-634-5551, ext. 226 Labrador-Grenfell Health: 709-454-0372 Where to go for help:
Eastern Health, St. John’s – Contacts For calls concerning seniors over 65: Bev Green, Intake Coordinator (nurse) 752-4835 Can also help connect with other services, (eg. home support) Would refer for cases of neglected adults
Eastern Health, St. John’s – Contacts For calls concerning seniors under 65: Stephanie Fleming, Intake Coordinator (social worker) 752-4717 Can also help connect with other services, (eg. home support) Begins process for cases of neglected adults (then over to another social worker for assessment)
Eastern Health, St. John’s – Notes Notes: NOT 24/7 service (answering machine has emergency numbers) If providing just one number to senior, use main number (752-4885) Can’t force “help” on people If in doubt, call!