Community Justice Initiatives helps prevent and deal with elder abuse as Canada’s population ages
Jul 06, 2012
from the article in the Midland Daily News:
....Community Justice Initiatives' Elder Mediation Service (EMS) of Canada helps families and organizations, like nursing and retirement homes, deal with conflict and abuse involving seniors. The service restores safety when abuse has occurred and assists with the implementation of practices that prevent abuse.
....Elder abuse is the mistreatment of an older adult by someone that they should be able to rely on; a caregiver, a spouse, a child, another family member, or even a friend. It can include physical violence, psychological harm, financial abuse, or neglect. Abuse is a misuse of power in an attempt to control the behaviour of another person.
Faced with an abuse allegation from one of their residents in December 2011, retirement home owners, Wes and Debbie Moore, called the Waterloo Regional Police Elder Abuse Response Team. The team referred the Moore’s to CJI’s EMS.
The Moore’s have been caring for seniors for the past twenty years, and never had an abuse allegation against one of their employees. They were stressed and not sure how to handle the situation.
Two CJI mediators came to The Village Manor in St. Jacob’s, ON to talk to all of their residents and staff. “They were calm and compassionate. They made everyone feel like they could be honest and tell the truth,” says Debbie. The focus of the interviews was to hear everyone’s perspective not to assign blame. “They are very good at getting to the root of the problem,” she adds.
CJI assisted the participants to resolve the conflict surrounding the accusation of abuse in a way that satisfied the resident and the resident’s family. The staff team was also pleased with the outcome. Peace and a sense of safety were restored to the home.
But CJI’s assistance didn’t stop there. EMS Program Coordinator, Wendy Meek, and volunteer mediator, Bill Brubacher assisted the Moore’s to create and implement policies and procedures to work through conflict and prevent abuse. “Our goal is to bring clients to a place where they can manage their own conflict,” says Meek. “I can’t believe what they did. They were like miracle workers,” says Debbie.