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Suspected elder abuse leaves 85-year-old man in hospital, son faces charges

Son faces charges after father found unresponsive on floor of Scarborough home
WATCH ABOVE: An 85-year-old Scarborough man is in hospital fighting for his life after police say he was left on the floor, uncared for, for five days. His 51-year-old son and alleged caregiver is facing multiple charges. Jamie Mauracher reports.

An elderly man is fighting for his life in hospital after spending five days on the floor of his Scarborough home allegedly ignored by his caretaker, Toronto police say.

“The man had fallen and wasn’t cared for, for a number of days,” Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu told Global News.

“[He] did ask for help and was left unattended.”

Global News has learned 85-year-old Joon Hwan Kim’s caretaker was his 51-year-old son, Ji Yong Kim. According to court documents, they shared a home on Chrysler Cresent, in the area of Victoria Park and Lawrence Avenue East.

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Police allege the senior fell off a chair on April 9 and was left on the floor without care until friends came to the home on April 13.

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“The [son] had guests over and when they went to check on the elderly gentleman, he was found pale and unresponsive … the caregiver then called 911,” Sidhu said.

Ji Yong has since been charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and failure to provide the necessities of life in relation to the case. He appeared in court on Wednesday and was not granted bail. He remains in police custody.

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Laura Tamblyn Watts, the national director of law, police and research at CARP, a senior’s advocacy group, said: “These types of charges are only given in egregious cases,” adding she was not surprised to see a family member accused either.

“Over two-thirds of elder abuse cases are actually perpetrated by a family member… it’s not by any means uncommon,” she said.

Tamblyn Watts said it’s also not uncommon for the abuse to go unreported or unnoticed.

READ MORE: Canada’s lack of long-term care space is forcing seniors as far as 200 km from home

Jean Pessos has lived across from the Kim home for 18 years and described Joon Hwan as “a sweet old man.”

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“I am definitely surprised to hear this,” she said to Global News.

Pessos said while she had seen the alleged victim many times in the past, she has never seen his son, although she knew he lived in the same home.

“I am surprised most that his son may have abused him… I mean… it’s shocking!”

Global News reached out to Kim’s lawyer for comment but did not hear back by the time of publication.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.