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When it’s time to die: Home is where the heart is

Lisa Priest, The Globe and Mail

Ten days after bringing him home from the hospital, Irene Geley watched her 86-year-old father, Stefan Kuszper, die. The last 15 minutes were terrible, she remembers – his breathing changed, his face was jerking and his chin was twitching. The last shot of morphine, to ease his pain, was injected by her hands.

Ontario task force to tackle abuse in nursing homes

The Star, Toronto

Ontario nursing homes and seniors advocates have created a task force to stop abuse in their facilities after a Star investigation found vulnerable residents are beaten, neglected and even raped by staff. They came up with a plan after being summoned to an emergency meeting on Friday with Health minister Deb Matthews who demanded changes to nursing home practices in response to the Star investigation. Matthews said the task force will bring together residents, families, staff owners and advocates to create a “real cultural change”.

MPs urge palliative care, suicide prevention strategies

Jordan Press, Post Media News, The Ottawa Citizen

A patchwork system of end-of-life care must be replaced with a national palliative care strategy to ensure those whose lives are coming to an end can spend it in comfort, says a report from a cross-party parliamentary committee. The report recommends the federal government create a palliative care secretariat that could ensure end-of-life care is available to anyone across the country.

Nursing home residents abused

Moira Welsh and Jesse McLean, The Star

Seniors in Ontario nursing homes are being beaten, neglected and even raped by the people hired to care for them, a Star investigation has found. In one case, a helpless 71-year-old Toronto woman with advanced dementia was raped in her bed, allegedly by a male nurse identified months earlier by other staff at the home as someone who regularly disappeared on shift “without explanation”.

Elder abuse a “hidden crime”, MPs say

Bruce Campion-Smith, Ottawa Bureau Chief, The Star

A criminal crackdown and greater public awareness are needed to combat the growing problem of elder abuse in Canada, which leaves thousands of seniors “wounded” and frightened” every year, a new study says. Just as society turned a blind eye to child and spousal abuse decades ago, abused seniors are suffering from the same neglect today, warns an all-party committee of MPs.