Crowdfunding for seniors

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Toronto Sun |   By |  First posted Sat Sep 14, 2013

Camille parent Crowdfunding for seniorsWhen 85 year-old Hellen MacDonald’s son, Camille Parent, secretly installed a hidden video camera in his mother’s room at a long-term care facility, the abuse she suffered at the hands of her “caregivers” was captured for all the world to see.

They are the types of images that are seared into your mind. The defenceless senior – who suffers from Alzheimer’s – is seen being “roughly

handled” by a female, a now former employee of St. Joseph’s at Fleming long-term care facility in Peterborough.

At one point, the employee degrades MacDonald even further, by waving a feces-covered cloth in front of her face. Another blew his nose on her sheets.

Incensed by what happened to his mother, Parent took the footage to the Peterborough police, who recently decided no criminal charges would be laid.

Though four employees were fired and admissions to St. Joseph’s were temporarily suspended, it hardly seems justice has been done for Hellen MacDonald.

So Parent has decided to take his fight for his mother, and all other seniors living in long-term care, to a whole new level.

He plans to appear on the Crowd Funder Show.

As the Peterborough <i>Examiner’s Brendan Wedley recently reported, Parent hopes “the show will help him raise between $25,000 and $100,000 to fund a campaign to change federal laws to protect seniors from abuse in long-term care homes.”

The Crowd Funder Show, which will begin airing on Sept. 22 on Buffalo’s Fox 29 WUTV, is styled after a relatively new concept to raise money on the Internet (mostly from complete strangers) if your project is deemed worthy.

The show’s executive producer, Jordan Whelan, and Associate Producer David Hatton — both home-grown Ontario talent — are looking forward to helping Parent.

Hatton, who grew up in Peterborough, read about MacDonald’s harrowing ordeal in the Examiner.

He told Wedley: “Something needs to be done to help Camille and his mom.”

He added: “It’s a talk show format. It’s designed to be very upbeat, very friendly, very positive … we’re trying to create a good TV show and raise

some money for great causes.”

Hard to imagine a better cause than Parent’s.

Considering the alarming number of incidents of elder abuse in Canada, all of us should be paying attention.

In an unprecedented investigation, CTV’s W5 revealed earlier this year that in one year alone, “more than 10,000 seniors suffered abuse in nursing homes across Canada.”

That figure represents only resident-on-resident abuse, something Parent’s mother also faced — she suffered a broken hip and received a black eye at the hands of another resident.

Ontario’s long-term care homes tout a zero-tolerance policy for abuse and neglect.

But governments are often too slow to make fundamental changes to ensure sure policies are actually enforced.

That said, governments haven’t been sitting on their hands, entirely.

The federal Conservatives introduced and passed legislation last year – the Protecting Canada’s Seniors Act – which amended the Criminal Code to allow a judge to consider “vulnerability due to age” and impose more severe sentences for those convicted of “a crime against an elderly person.”

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