National Union of Public & General Employees

National Union of Public & General Employees

March 10, 2008 15:32 ET

CORRECTION FROM SOURCE: Alberta elderly left to die

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 10, 2008) - In the press release dated March 10, 2008 at 2:51pm there was an error in the contact information for James Clancy. The corrected press release follows.

"The president of NUPGE, the National Union of Public & General Employees, accused the Alberta government today of systematically stripping the elderly of their rights." James Clancy says the lack of public accountability has permitted the rise of "assisted living facilities" where the standards of care are severely reduced:

Clancy clip:

"Most of these assisted living facilities are unlicensed, unregulated and unmonitored. It means the elderly are left essentially on their own. It's simply unacceptable that in this day and age in a country as rich, in a province as rich as Alberta, we can't do more for them."

Clancy says the change in legislation began 30 years ago and has left the elderly without the protection afforded most Canadians.

Ruth Adria, president of the Elder Advocates of Alberta Society, says there is extreme pressure placed on the guardians of the elderly to sign non-resuscitation consent forms when the elderly are admitted.

"As a result when an elderly person becomes ill, particularly in a locked unit where there's often little or virtually no staff, the elderly person is often just left to die and there's no intervention."

Ms Adria says she's tired of writing letters of complaints to government agencies about the abuse because in the end no change ever takes place.

"This morning a man will appear in court here because he harmed a dog. However when a senior is harmed or even mortally harmed it is done with impunity."

Due to group housing shortages in Alberta, only 5% of the elderly are in government operated group homes. For this reason there's no way of estimating the true extent of elder abuse in the province.

To listen to the first audio clip, please visit the link below:

To listen to the second audio clip, please visit the link below:

Contact Information

    James Clancy
    (613) 228-9800
    Elder Advocates of Alberta Society
    Ruth Adria
    (780) 438-8314