No Right to Visit Elderly Parents

visitationIn a recent case, the B.C. Supreme Court refused to order a visitation schedule between a 90-year-old dementia patient and her three sons in the face of an objection by the patient’s daughter. Before becoming incapable of communicating effectively, the parties’ mother had appointed her daughter as her representative pursuant to the Representation Agreement Act. Due to the anxiety the mother suffered when her sons visited, the daughter refused to allow her brothers to visit their mother unattended. The brothers asked the court to order a visitation schedule.

In dismissing the brothers’ application, the court stated that while it does have an “inherent jurisdiction” to protect persons who are otherwise unable to protect themselves, it does not have jurisdiction to “dictate what those persons may do with their time where there is no presence or apprehension of injury to person or property”. Because there was no risk of any harm to the parties’ the court refused to interfere. The court also held that the daughter had authority under the Representation Agreement to refuse visits.

At least one in four older adults experiences some mental disorder, such as depression, anxiety, or dementia. Due to population aging, the number of seniors with mental disorders is expected to double by 2030. For more information contact the firm’s Estate & Trust Litigation group.


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