Elder Abuse: Failing to Provide the Necessities of Life if a Crime

Two days after being released from the hospital because he collapsed, a gas company employee found Mr. Peterson and a dead dog in the house. Mr. Peterson was then admitted to a long-term care home. The court found that Mr. Peterson controlled his father’s living conditions and personal care. He kept his father in an unsafe environment and chose not to make decisions that would ensure that his father would be provided with the necessaries of life. Mr. Peterson was sentenced to six months imprisonment, two years probation and 100 hours of community service.


Section 215 of the Criminal Code has been underutilized in the past to prosecute elder abuse. However, these recent cases indicate that this offence will be used more frequently in the future as police and Crown attorneys become more familiar with it. Educational programs will hopefully increase awareness of the crime, as well as the responsibilities that individuals and families have towards their elderly parents. ACE would
also like to see the courts make sentences which truly reflect the seriousness of this crime.

Keywords: elder, abuse, mental impairment, caregivers, crime