I Don’t Belong in a Nursing Home


I Don’t Belong in a Nursing Home. I have places to go. Things to do. People to meet.

Please sign Teresa Pocock’s petition

July 23, 2014

With the stroke of a pen, my disabled sister’s human right to decide where she lives was wrongly taken away.

In a heart-breaking move, Teresa who has Down syndrome, was forced against her will into an old-age nursing home, by the Toronto Central CCAC (Community Care Access Centre) and two of my siblings. Four days later, she was rescued by my 91-year old father who was “adamant” he did not want his daughter living in a nursing home. But then the nursing home called the police, in a shockingly callous and bizarre effort to force her back.

Teresa is demanding an apology from these two institutions, the CCAC and the Rekai Centre. This is a sorry mess. Her records show that the crisis list was manipulated to get Teresa to the very top, and placed in the nursing home. Her profile contained false information which made her appear to need 24/7 care. See the presentation I made with Teresa, to the Ontario Government’s Select Committee:

Teresa’s story: Crisis, Capacity and Courage

On July 22, 2014, the Ontario Government’s Select Committee published their final report. It states: “Long-term care homes are pressured to accommodate young and middle-aged people with developmental disabilities without any medical need for this type of care or any training to support this group of clients.”

By signing this petition you can help Teresa get an apology for the harm done to her. Teresa is asking the CCAC to apologize for wrongly taking away her human right to decide where she lives. Teresa is asking the Rekai Centre to apologize for calling the police in a completely unnecessary, intimidating and callous attempt to force her back into their institution.

Over three months ago we filed a 12-page complaint with the Ontario Ministry of Health. We have only heard they are “inspecting” the matter.

We need a full apology from both institutions because this is not just about one person — it’s about standing up for and protecting the human rights of all people with disabilities.

Please sign Teresa Pocock’s petition demanding an apology from the CCAC and Rekai Centre at Change.org.

Thank you.

25 Comments on “I Don’t Belong in a Nursing Home

  1. This was such an unfortunate situation of poor decision making and lack of listening to Teresa. Completely avoidable.

  2. Once again the needs of corporations and institutions are considered more important than those of citizens. Please ensure that Teresa and those like her are given respect and a decent choice of how to spend their lives.

  3. Good to the father that took Teresa out of the institution. No one has the right to be taken away regardless of disability. It is in the Human Rights Code. Shame on the Ontario government. Everyone has feelings and just because a person has Downs; syndrome does not mean that they do not understand. There are different levels of Downs Syndrome/ Let a person live their lives and let them be happy. We only have one life to live so live it to the fullest.

  4. Some organizations like these two assume they have more authority than they actually do. If nothing is done to stop them, they will assume more and more until they are a power unto themselves with no oversight. By standing and doing nothing people give their tacit approval, ( remember World War II and what happened because people dif nothing to stop it).

  5. If we start putting Down’s syndrome kids in nursing homes, where will it stop. The world is theirs as much as ours. They have as much the right to be free as we do. This is segregation.

  6. This is disgusting I worked with an organiziation where we help people with physical and mental challenges live independently in their own homes.

  7. The Province should not force people into care homes so that they can earn more money…..wrong,wrong. Nor should they listen to one, greedy member of a family who wants the Mother/Father’s
    Money & home.

  8. WE need more homes for the seniors. the young should be in homes with young people like themselves.

  9. I have a Down Syndrome Brother who is being sited for LTC home with the aged. I have been bothered by this and will pay attention to the progress of this young girl. We have been asked to put his name in as the CCAC have decided they may not want to keep him where he is. Where once he was ‘crisis’, suddenly the tables have turned for the moment. We don’t understand why. Thank you.

  10. People with Down’s Syndrome do not belong in a nursing home for seniors. It’s time for the Ontario government to fund housing and support staff for them. I am appalled at the lack of sensitivity!

  11. I am appalled by the lack of sensitivity of the Ontario government. People with Down’s Syndrome need to live in the community, not in a nursing home for Seniors.

  12. Unfortunately, this happened because someone made the wrong decision. People who should be there can’t make it to the top of the list as the list is too long. This girl is definitely too young to be with the old people for the rest of her life. Ask her sisters how they would like it under the same circumstances!

  13. We have a Down’s Syndrome person that lives in our community, comes regularly to our church…sits right at the front. Once a year the whole church sings happy birthday to her and she gets hugs quite often. Quebec does some things right! Maybe Ontario should take note & take notes!

    • My husband and I have two sons with Down Syndrome and we live in the wonderful province of NS where you only go to a nursing home if you are a senior and need medical care cause you really can’t look after yourself. Here in NS there are group home, independent living homes, small option homes and large living facilities for those with intellectual challenges who absolutely can not be without 24 care. Keep up the fight Teresa, you deserve the best life has to offer.

  14. No one should be put in a Nursing home just because they have a disability! It should be a choice.

  15. It is surprising and troubling that CCAC would arrange residential facility care for an intellectually disabled woman when neither she nor [some of] her family wanted this type of care, and especially when there are caring family members willing and able to offer her a home. It seems ironic that in many places in Canada there are people who desperately need the kind of care that was being forced on Teresa, and for whom this would be an appropriate use of our tax contributions. This story is very troubling!

  16. … First, I Am Surprised That Your Asking A Math Question.. I Have Learning Disabilities For All My Life.. Dyscalculia & Dyslexia.. And Comprehension Issues.. This Could Be Said As Being Ignorant Of Lesser Gifted Individuals.. I Have A Petition Going Around To DO AWAY.. With SKILL TESTING QUESTIONS! .. I Am A Self Advocate For Disability Rights, Like My Room Mate.. She Is On The DSTO Council.. (4 Years) And Fighting To Stay On.. It Is Not Right To Treat Teresa Pocock In This Way.. I Have Signed This Petition, And Shared It Also.. More Housing Is Required.. I Say BOYCOTT-Or-PICKETT-Or- Arrange A Sit Inn! (HIPPIE STYLE!) On All Future Condominium Corporations Sales Sites! And Not STOP.. Until More Housing Arrangements Are Made For More People With Disabilities.. FIRST! .. BTW.. Lower All Rents! And Return RENT CONTROL! Apt`s Are Way Too Expensive!! ((It`s My Opinion, I Have RIGHTS!!)) And Yes, I Like Typing With CAPS!! ((Looks Better To Me.. Get Over It!))

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