Discussion Paper Released on Adult Protection Legislation
Nova Scotians are being asked to comment on proposed changes tolegislation that protects adult Nova Scotians who cannot protector care for themselves. “Nova Scotians have a valuable role to play in shaping changes tolegislation that will enhance services available to adult NovaScotians who need help and are unable to help themselves,” saidHealth Minister Angus MacIsaac. About 1,300 new cases are investigated each year under adultprotection legislation. About 75 per cent of referrals involveself-neglect; the remainder involve caregiver neglect or abuse.Although the adult protection legislation applies to people whoare 16 years of age and older, the majority of cases involveseniors. With an increasingly aging population, the number ofadults requiring long-term interventions is likely to increase. “The abuse and neglect of older persons is a serious socialproblem that deserves a great deal of public discussion anddialogue in Nova Scotia, particularly given the rapid aging ofour population and the projected increased incidence of elderabuse,” said Valerie White, executive director, Senior Citizens’Secretariat. “I encourage all Nova Scotians to review theproposed changes to the Adult Protection Act. Your insight andopinions are important in ensuring that abused and neglected NovaScotians are supported in a way that we all would like to betreated.” In addition to the call for public input, the discussion paper isbeing sent to groups and agencies that have particular concernsregarding adult protection, including the Senior Citizens’Secretariat, Disabled Persons Commission, Canadian PensionersConcerned, physicians and the judiciary. The process will alsoinclude research and a review of similar legislation in otherprovinces. “Nova Scotia has the highest rate of disability in Canada, withmore than 20 per cent of adult Nova Scotians reporting adisability, and this rate will grow as our population ages,” saidCharlie Macdonald, executive director, Disabled Persons’Commission. “I welcome this opportunity for persons withdisabilities and their advocates to participate in this veryworthwhile review.” Nova Scotia’s Adult Protection Act was established nearly 20years ago and much has changed in the way services areadministered and delivered. This review takes into considerationthe changes in society as well as changes requested by variousgroups involved in adult protection. The discussion paper is available on the Department of Health’swebsite at www.gov.ns.ca/health or by phoning 424-0934 inHalifax, 1-800-387-6665 outside Halifax. Nova Scotians have until Friday, Oct. 15, to submit theircomments on possible changes to adult protection legislation asoutlined in the discussion paper. Comments may be addressed to:Provincial Co-ordinator, Adult Protection Services, ContinuingCare Branch, Nova Scotia Department of Health, P.O. Box 488,Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2R8. They may also be sent by fax to902-424-0558 or by e-mail to [email protected] .