What is Elder Abuse?

Abuse of seniors is a major societal issue. Elder abuse can be defined as "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person". 

Many of these abuses are criminal offences under the Criminal Code of Canada, such as Theft, Forgery, Extortion, Assault, Intimidation, Threats, and Failure to Provide the Necessities of Life. Very few criminal offences against seniors are brought to the Criminal Justice System.

The main reason for abuse is the use of power and control by one person over another. In cases of financial abuse, the abuser has a false sense of entitlement to the senior’s money or possessions. The system can also be abusive. A relationship is abusive when a set of behaviour is used by a person(s) to establish dominance and control over another person.

There are several kinds of elder abuse:

  • Physical

  • Psychological

  • Financial

  • Sexual

  • Medication

  • Neglect

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