Elder Abuse

 If you see something or hear something involving a guelph senior then say SOMETHING!! 

Protect our seniors and Report Elder Abuse. 

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder Abuse or abuse of a senior is any action by someone in a position of trust that causes harm to an older person. Victims of abuse often know, trust, and depend on the person/people who hurt them. They may be dependent on their abusers for food, shelter, personal care or companionship. The most “at risk” to abuse are vulnerable isolated seniors.

The abuse often continues unreported due to fear, shame and the belief that police and/or social service agencies can’t help. Elder abuse is any act or gesture that harms or threatens to harm an older person (60 years of age or older).

Types of Elder Abuse

Physical abuse (including sexual assault) is any act of violence causing or intending to cause bodily harm or physical discomfort.

  • Signs to look for - unexplained injuries, unusual bruising and/or doctor shopping.

Psychological/Emotional abuse is any action or comment instilling fear, emotional anguish or that diminishes self-esteem or dignity.

  • Signs to look for - fear of certain individuals, abuser speaking for the senior or not giving the senior privacy when company visits.

Financial abuse is any theft or exploitation of an individual’s money, property or assets. It should be noted that, unless there is a relationship between the victim and the abuser, all frauds and scams against seniors can be reported to the police.

  • Signs to look for- overdue bills, unusual banking activity, mail missing, and seniors standard of living not in keeping with income or assets.

Neglect, either intentional or unintentional, is a lack of attention resulting in inadequate supervision and failure to provide the basic and essential needs required.

  • Signs to look for - unhealthy living conditions and unkempt appearance.

Why does it happen & by who?

Elder abuse is the result of an individual having power and/or control over a senior, and the individual uses such power for their own interests.

Abusers are often family members who are dependent on the senior for money or shelter. Abusers may have financial or addiction issues, experience chronic unemployment, and may possibly have mental health problems.

Most victims are mentally competent and capable of making decisions on their own.                              

Elder Protection

Safety Tips

  • Avoid joint bank accounts and joint ownership of any property.
  • Protect your banking information.
  • Choose your Power of Attorney (POA) wisely and be aware that you can change your Power of Attorney at any time.
  • Be aware that the moment your Continuing Power of Attorney for Property document is signed and witnessed by two people, the person being given POA status has immediate control over all of your assets, bank accounts and property. Adding a triggering clause to the “Conditions and Restrictions” area of your POA document will limit this access and ensure that it is used only at a time that YOU choose is right for you (for instance when, where, by whom and under what circumstances should the POA document be used/invoked).
  • Consider a joint Power of Attorney (naming two people to share the responsibility). This minimizes the temptation and increases accountability at the same time.

Steps to Become Safer

  • Tell someone you trust what is happening to you.
  • Ask for help if you need it.
  • Keep emergency phone numbers stored in a safe place.
  • Keep emergency money in a safe and private place.
  • Have extra clothing on hand for emergency situations.
  • Identify a safe place to go in case of emergency.
  • Keep a list of your medications, and the name and phone number of your pharmacy.
  • Keep copies of your identification.
  • Keep records of your cheque book, credit cards, bank book.
  • Do not give personal information over the phone, including credit cards and banking information.

Protection is available

  • Background checks are done or should be done for those working with vulnerable persons.
  • Restraining orders, ensuring individuals cannot come in contact with you, or cannot work with vulnerable persons can be obtained under certain circumstances.
  • If an abuser is charged and the crime committed relates to anger issues or an addiction, rehabilitation or anger management can be a condition placed upon an accused party. The criminal courts may impose further conditions upon sentencing.
  • Victims’ input is of paramount importance throughout the investigation and trial. 

Report Elder Abuse

Guelph Police Service, Non-Emergency Line, 519-824-1212 ext: 0 
Crime Stoppers, 519- 822-TIPS