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

Thank you.

Just two days after Teresa launched her petition the Toronto Central CCAC (Community Care Access Centre) has stepped forward with an apology.

Toronto Central CCAC CEO Stacey Daub writes:

Teresa I am very sorry for what has happened to you over the last few months. I apologize for any part the Toronto Central CCAC contributed to this.

If you are willing, I would very much like to meet with you personally to understand your experience with us and to hear your ideas of what we could do to better support individuals and families in situations similar to yours. I would also be interested in hearing how we could support the broader changes that you believe need to happen. Please let me know if you would like to meet.


Teresa has responded with this thank you (which she recorded in the video above)

Dear Stacey,

Thank you for your letter. And thanks for the beautiful apology. It was beautiful.

Please ask the Rekai Centre to apologize to us, soon.

Yes, I would like to talk with you. My sister, Franke, will contact you.

Thank you.


Teresa’s sister, Franke James, also responded by thanking Stacey and asking four specific questions about the CCAC’s role in Teresa’s forced admission to the Rekai Centre.

Dear Stacey,

Let me thank you for your apology on behalf of the Toronto Central CCAC. We are pleased to see you step forward. This has been — and continues to be — a very difficult time for all of us.

In order to make amends for what Teresa calls “the chaos”, we would like a full acknowledgement detailing “the part” where Toronto Central CCAC has failed — where you think other parties have failed — and what can be done to hold the parties accountable and thus ensure this never happens again.

How can it be right that people get speeding tickets for driving too fast, but there is no penalty for wrongly taking Teresa’s human rights away and placing her in a nursing home? If we had not stepped forward she would still be institutionalized.

It has been a nightmare and torn our family apart — I fear forever. Your clear admission of what went wrong, and who is responsible, will help our family heal. And may help prevent this trauma from happening to others.

We have a lot of questions about what went wrong. Here are four…

1. Why did the CCAC not follow its policy to protect and uphold the human rights of its client, Teresa?

On September 6, the CCAC assessed Teresa as being “incapable” of making personal care decisions, effectively taking away her human rights to decide where she lives and who cares for her. According to CCAC forms, the finding of “Incapacity” can only be made if there is certainty. If there is any doubt, CCAC is supposed to assume the client has capacity. Why, given the conflicting evidence in Teresa’s assessment, did the CCAC assume that Teresa was incapable?

2. Why the heck did the CCAC counsel my siblings how to take away my father’s rights as the primary caregiver for Teresa?

September 3 – Records show that the CCAC was informed that my father would oppose Teresa’s placement in a long-term care home. Because he was the Senior Power of Attorney for Teresa, the CCAC employee suggested that his rights would have to be removed before Teresa could be placed in a long-term care home.

September 10 – Records show that the CCAC interviewed my father and noted that he was “adamant” he did not want Teresa put in a nursing home and would consider litigation to stop it.

September 11 – Records show that the CCAC received a revocation document from my siblings. Despite the fact that this revocation was a direct contradiction to what my father had said to Mark Weitz the day before, it was accepted by the CCAC without question. What’s more, the document was signed by the spouses of the Attorneys, an obvious conflict of interest that renders it legally invalid in Ontario. The CCAC knew the witnesses were spouses of the Attorneys, yet Mr. Weitz accepted the revocation without question.

3. Why did the CCAC ignore what Teresa wanted — and assume her assertions about her own independence were false?

On September 6, in her assessment interview, Teresa stated confidently, “I shower myself”, “I dress myself”. Why did the CCAC case worker immediately reject Teresa’s statements as untrue? (Since Teresa has lived with me for over three and a half months, she has showered herself and always dresses herself.)

Why did Mr. Weitz not do any further investigation in an effort to find out the truth? Instead, he bizarrely used Teresa’s statements of independence as evidence of her ‘insidious cognitive decline’.

On September 6, the records show that Teresa stated several times that she wanted “to stay at the condo” and she wanted “to live with my father”. Why were Teresa’s wishes ignored? Why was a long-term care home even considered, given that Teresa is young and able-bodied?

4. Why did the CCAC ignore my offer to take Teresa into my home? And continue to insist on Teresa’s placement in the Rekai Centre?

November 28: Records show that CCAC was informed by my lawyer that I (as Teresa’s sister) had offered to take Teresa into my home. Why was my offer ignored? It would have opened up a bed for a more needy person.

But the CCAC swept my offer under the rug, and continued with its plan of forced institutionalization. Indeed, when informed that Teresa had been taken out of the Rekai Centre under the care of her father and me, the CCAC recommended calling the police. Why?

For more questions and details, please see my Jan. 21st presentation to the Select Committee on Developmental Services at Queen’s Park:

Teresa’s story: Crisis, Capacity and Courage

We are still waiting to hear from the Rekai Centre. Considering that both the CCAC and the Rekai Centre are intertwined in this matter, we will continue to collect signatures and demand a full apology.


Franke James

As Franke says, we still waiting for an apology from the Rekai Centre’s CEO, Mary Hoare.

We need your support for Teresa’s petition today asking the Rekai Centre to apologize for the harm they caused Teresa.

Please sign Teresa’s Petition on