'He doesn't remember any of the family now. He doesn't know my mom.'
Winnipeg (12 Oct. 2010) - The family of a 69-year-old Alzheimer's patient who was jailed for more than a month knew from the beginning that he belonged in a care home, not prison bars.
The man was arrested Sept. 2 following an assault on his long-time wife at the couple's home. Following a wave of media publicity about the case, a judge finally ordered the man's release on Oct. 8.
A former railway worker, the individual suffered from severe Alzheimer's disease. His wife does not intend to pursue charges against him because she believes his disease was responsible for the attack.
"He doesn't remember any of the family now. He doesn't know my mom, he doesn't know my sister. His mind is about 25 years away. It's tough," the couple's son told the QMI Agency chain of newspapers.
The son said his father was held on a medical ward at the Winnipeg Remand Centre.
Manitoba Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard, who took up the family's cause, called the situation appalling.
"The system should be operating so that there are places for people like Joe McLeod," Gerrard said. "He should never have ended up in jail in the first place, (but now) as fast as humanly possible he should be placed in an appropriate care home."
"It's the government's responsibility to organize the health and justice systems so this doesn't happen," he said.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE