Secrecy around long-term care home abuse puts residents at risk, advocate says

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Secrecy around abuse investigations in Nova Scotia’s nursing homes puts residents at further risk, according to an advocate for the elderly.

“The public eye is very important in these places because, you’ve got to remember, the residents who live there very often can’t speak up for themselves,” said Jane Meadus, a lawyer with the Toronto-based Advocacy Centre for the Elderly.

“We have to do everything we can to make sure that we are protecting them as much as possible.”

CBC News has obtained abuse investigation reports prepared by Nova Scotia’s Department of Health and Wellness under the province’s Protection of Persons in Care Act.

Unlike Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, where investigation reports are automatically released to the public, CBC News had to file two rounds of freedom of information requests to obtain the records.

The first request revealed 46 confirmed cases of abuse in 2015 and 2016. The second batch of documents show that a total of 63 confirmed cases of abuse occurred in 36 of the province’s long-term care facilities between 2015 and mid-2017.

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Secrecy around long-term care home abuse puts residents at risk, advocate says

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