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Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is prevalent all over the world and Ontario is not immune.  The World Health Organization defines abuse of older adults as “a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring in any relationship where there is an expectation of trust that causes harm or distress to an older person”.

Elder abuse can take many different forms: physical, psychological or financial abuse. The Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder abuse has stated that 1 in 10 seniors are victims of elder abuse, however, too often elder abuse crimes go unreported.

Global News reported that last week, in Toronto, a couple was arrested in connection to an elder abuse fraud investigation involving a 94 year old woman.

Too often elder abuse victims suffer in silence. However, bravely, the 94 year old woman spoke in a press conference with Toronto police where she explained her story of elder abuse and the emotional impact the abuse had on her.

CBC also reported the story and stated that “many seniors know they’re being taken advantage of, but refuse to report potential crimes — some wanting to keep a relationship, rather than be alone. They feel lonely, they feel isolated, so they get victimized because of that”.

The Toronto Community Care Centre are urging seniors to reach out for help. The Centre works to connect the elderly to various programs from healthcare to housekeeping. The Community Care Centre provides support for seniors including visits from homecare workers, social programs and meal programs.

Moreover, the Ontario Provincial government has taken steps to help eliminate elder abuse generally by funding initiatives aimed at preventing elder abuse. $900,000 is being invested annually in the Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (the “ONPEA“) to combat elder abuse crimes.

Thanks for reading.

Ian M. Hull