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