Advisors and other professionals interacting with seniors can help identify suspected incidents of elder abuse.
HomEquity Bank says its team members have encountered circumstances of suspected elder abuse, and have reported them to the proper authorities. The bank has produced a tip sheet to help other professionals identify potential cases.
Recognizing abuse, which occurs across all socio-economic levels, is vital to protecting the ever-increasing number of seniors in Canada. The tips include:
- watch for a sudden appearance of physical injuries such as bruises and sprains;
- stay alert to a change in finances;
- identify changes in behaviour or appearance;
- watch for new suspicious relationships.
In an emergency situation, call the police. For non-emergency situations, the federal government lists provincial and territorial resources on elder abuse.
The Advocacy Centre for the Elderly says elder abuse includes:
- physical abuse, such as slapping, pushing, beating or confinement;
- financial abuse such as stealing, fraud, extortion or misusing a power of attorney;
- sexual abuse, such as sexual assault or any unwanted form of sexual activity;
- neglect, such as failing to give someone in your care food, medical attention, or other necessary care;
- emotional abuse, such as treating an older person like a child or humiliating, insulting, frightening, threatening or ignoring an older person.