Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Guiding Principles

The following guiding principles inform the concepts contained in the guideline and are based on various resources and Expert Panel opinion.

• Older adults are entitled to protection of their human rights and fundamental freedoms including full respect for their dignity, beliefs, needs and privacy.
• Older adults are presumed to be mentally capable of making decisions about their own lives, unless demonstrated otherwise.
• Older adults should, to the full extent that they are able, direct their plan of care and provide consent for decisions made about their care.
• All approaches to helping an older adult who has been abused or neglected should honour the person’s uniqueness, preferences, values and beliefs, and be founded in a person-centred approach.
• Mentally capable older adults have the right to live their lives as they wish, provided they do not infringe upon the rights and safety of others.
• Abuse and neglect are complex, multifaceted issues that often take time, sensitivity and collaborative effort to prevent and address effectively.
• Older adults should be active participants in the development of programs meant to serve them.

Older Adults
Preventing and Addressing Abuse and Neglect of Older Adults: Person-Centred, Collaborative, System-Wide Approaches
Background Information