Thursday, March 23, 2017

Julie Ali feeling happy. Just now · I went with Ruth Adria to the legislature today. We were doing Elder Advocates of Alberta Working Group work. It was about the Powers of Attorney problems that the Elder Advocates of Alberta Society were encountering. We met with the Justice Minister and two other folks. It was an interesting meeting. I got to speak in between Ruth's presentation of the facts. What are the facts? 1) The Power of Attorney legislation is very loosey goosey. This means that it is a private contract between folks that is not subject to much scrutiny. The Act is listed here: http://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/Acts/p20.pdf 2) The problems Ruth has encountered have been basically about loved ones stealing money from the accounts of their family members. Imagine this folks. You trust your kid. He steals from you. And compound this problem with the fact that the thief has control of your money. 3) The thief may then tell you that he does not have your money. What do you do then as a senior? Well I guess you could go to court. But without your own money how will you pay for the civil lawsuit? Where will you get help to do this sort of stressful business as an aged citizen? 4) The problem is clear. These are cases of elder abuse by known abusers. What is the government solution to this problem? I don't know. Since government has not got a solution to this problem that Ruth Adria has encountered on an ongoing and tragic basis she has been in discussion with the justice department seeking a remedy for seniors who have been abused in this way.



Julie Ali feeling happy.
Just now
I went with Ruth Adria to the legislature today.
We were doing Elder Advocates of Alberta Working Group work.
It was about the Powers of Attorney problems that the Elder Advocates of Alberta Society were encountering.
We met with the Justice Minister and two other folks.
It was an interesting meeting. I got to speak in between Ruth's presentation of the facts.
What are the facts?
1) The Power of Attorney legislation is very loosey goosey. This means that it is a private contract between folks that is not subject to much scrutiny. The Act is listed here:
http://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/Acts/p20.pdf
2) The problems Ruth has encountered have been basically about loved ones stealing money from the accounts of their family members. Imagine this folks. You trust your kid. He steals from you. And compound this problem with the fact that the thief has control of your money.
3) The thief may then tell you that he does not have your money. What do you do then as a senior? Well I guess you could go to court. But without your own money how will you pay for the civil lawsuit? Where will you get help to do this sort of stressful business as an aged citizen?
4) The problem is clear. These are cases of elder abuse by known abusers. What is the government solution to this problem? I don't know. Since government has not got a solution to this problem that Ruth Adria has encountered on an ongoing and tragic basis she has been in discussion with the justice department seeking a remedy for seniors who have been abused in this way.
5) Ruth Adria indicated that some of the elders do not even have the ability to track who has the money. These records are not in the custody of government. They are in the hands of citizens. She suggested that there should be accountability with the use of a government registry.
6) This seemed (at least to me) to be a good thing since we could at least track all the private contracts that are being made by families to ensure that the best interests of defenceless seniors are being protected.
7) Ms. Ganley (the Justice Minister) told us that this registry idea would cost too much. If we have to register cars I thought why can't we register such important contracts? Such a registry would provide tracking ability, some oversight as well as the transparency that is currently not present in such private contracts.
8) The failure of government to protect such vulnerable seniors is difficult for me to understand. I see that there needs to be a remedy as there will be increasing numbers of seniors who are going to be taken advantage of by family members. Not all family members are reasonable and major cash is sometimes a corrupting influence.
It is concerning that government at this current time has no remedy to the problems of theft through the use of the POA arrangement. Surely some sort of tracking, oversight and accounting transparency is necessary? Even if these contracts are private there needs to be protections in place that do not require elderly citizens to attempt civil lawsuits after the theft but instead prevent such theft in the first place.
Hopefully there will be further conversations with the minister and staff so that the rights of the elderly will be protected in such situations which in some cases can indeed provide a license to steal.


#FollowingRuthAdria--The Elder Advocates of Alberta Society presented information about our remedies for the financial abuse problems that were associated with the Powers of Attorney Act (POA).
The problem with these private contracts is that sometimes these contracts result in the theft of estates of seniors. As such Ruth Adria felt there needs to be transparency, regulation, oversight that is currently not present. She suggested a government registry as well as increased transparency.
I felt these were reasonable requests and that there should also be required reporting of financial transactions as well but no one at the meeting felt that any of these requests were possible.
What then is the remedy for the financial abuse faced by defenceless seniors?
The role of government is not to intrude in such private contracts but to provide reasonable conditions in place so that financial abuse does not occur. If AISH recipients were required in the past to report their yearly assets why not have POA contract have a similar requirement? Why not in fact ask that all POA contracts be registered in a similar way to the requirement for vehicles?
What solution does government have for the problems of financial abuse that will (in my opinion) only increase with the greatest wealth transfer coming in the future from the parents of the baby boomers? It's time to be proactive and lets hear what the folks at Alberta Justice will do to protect seniors.

Like
Comment



No comments:

Post a Comment