Elder Abuse and Neglect
Elder abuse includes actions that cause physical, mental, financial or sexual harm to an older adult. Neglect includes situations where a person or organization fails to provide services or necessary care for an older adult.
Elder abuse and neglect can be broadly categorized into five categories:
An adult might experience more than one type of abuse and neglect by the same person.
(sourced from “Canadian Centre for Elder Law”)
Personal Safety Tips
- Walk in well-lit areas.
- Always be aware of your surroundings.
- Be loud if you are attacked – don’t be afraid to yell for help.
- Carrying limited personal items and cash on you.
- Carry ID in case you get lost. Consider writing down your address or contact information of a loved one should you need help.
- Be careful of door to door sales people or telemarketing. Do not allow yourself to be pushed into buying something you don’t really need or want. If someone attends your home trying to sell a product and requesting you allow them entry or are pressuring you to sign any documents, ask for the person’s work identification. If they don’t have it, they are likely not legitimate and do not allow them entry to your home or sign anything. Call their place of employment to confirm their identity and reasons for being there.
- Consider installing an alarm in your home, or having a device you can carry with you in case you fall and can’t call for help.
Financial Safety Tips
- Direct Deposit – Have regular cheques sent to your bank via direct deposit.
- Automated Teller – When using automated teller machines (ATM) be aware of who is around you and protect your password.
- Don’t send money to anyone unless you can confirm their identity or have met them in person.
- Don’t click on any suspicious email links from you financial institution. If you are in doubt, contact your bank.
- Advise your financial institution who is authorized on your account/s.
- Say no if you are being pressured to give money to someone – even family members.
- Be wary of something for nothing or get rich quick schemes. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is a scam.
- If you are chatting with someone online, and you are involved in an online relationship, be wary of online romance scams. DO NOT send anyone any money especially if you have never met them before.
If you are a senior and if you live alone, consider joining a Block Watch group in your area. Block Watch creates a sense of community and provides the means for neighbours to get to know one another. When a community or block is connected, neighbours can look out for each other and help seniors in their community whether that’s helping with food delivery or during an emergency such as a fire, flooding or natural disaster.
If you are in a Block Watch group and know of seniors in your area, get to know them. If you haven’t seen them in a few days, don’t hesitate to check in and/or introduce yourself. A connected community is a safer community.
You can find more information on seniors’ safety from the website links below: