Ramble: What Elder Abuse Looks Like

Tonight I read a story in a local paper about an elderly woman who had devoted her life to a co-operative community. She had been a founding member of the co-op, and so involved the community even named the Community Centre in her honour! However, a few minor complaints  in the past year has resulted in the volunteer Board of the co-op taking steps to evict her from the community. She is about to be exiled from her home, and her life’s work.

Now I know I have only read part of the story. And the Board may indeed by entirely “right” in their belief that they are doing the “right” thing. But here is the thing all “right” action must also “do right.” Justice is not punishment, justice is about making things better.

The news story is here: An 82-year-old woman battling cancer is facing eviction from her home of 22 years.

Waterloo senior battling cancer being evicted after running afoul of co-op bylaws

Please my readers take the time to contact the Co-operative and let them know what you think of their lack of compassion.

This story reads to me as one of elder abuse. Betty, the 82-year-old, may indeed by an annoyance to the current community. However, it is clear she has also helped foster and build the foundation of the current co-operative community. The part of the story where the Board prevented Betty’s friend from providing supportive care to Betty is simply barbaric.  Again – yes the notice of trespass may have been justified by the application of the rules. However the Board (and community) should actually have offered to help Betty during that time period. What did the Board do to help Betty cope and adjust?

Contact info for the Co-operative is here:


Telephone: (519) 886-0359
Fax: (519) 886-5593
Email Sarah Tieleman at: office (at) beechwood (dot) coop
Email: chris (at) beechwood (dot) coop
Snail Mail: 693 Beechwood Drive, Waterloo ON N2T 2P6


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