Today, June 15th, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This observance day is held on the same date each year, and is officially recognized by the United Nations. Seniors are an at-risk group for mistreatment, and those with elderly parents living in Montreal should be aware of local resources, and how to report abuse. As a leading provider of senior care and home care assistance in Montreal, Complete Care Coordination believes elder abuse is a serious issue that must be addressed.
Awareness is the key to prevention!
What is Elder Abuse?
Abuse of the elderly comes in many forms. These include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, intimidation, theft, and neglect. Abuse can leave a senior feeling helpless and depressed, and may sometimes even lead to death; the risk of death for seniors facing abuse is three times higher than for non-victims.
This is very rarely an isolated attack or action, as senior abuse is recurrent in up to 80% of cases.
Why This Day is Important
The Canadian senior population is expected to increase by 68% over the next twenty years. In that same time, the 75+ age group will double in size. This means that elder abuse will likely become an increasingly common problem; currently, approximately 1 in 6 older people experience abuse, and this number is expected to increase with the growing population of seniors.
The Canadian senior population will more than double in the coming years. Image from the CIHI.
Abuse of the elderly is an abuse of human rights; seniors should be treated with the same level of respect as those of any other age.
For many years, there has been a general lack of investigation, resources, and attention given to elderly abuse, compared to different types of mistreatment. It is one of the least investigated types of violence, and is often considered a taboo subject. Seniors are especially at risk for abuse because they are much less capable of defending themselves, and often live alone or are isolated from others.
Proper caregiving means protecting the dignity and respect of elderly people in Montreal, and around the world.
There are many factors that put seniors at a higher risk for abuse. These include:
- Having dementia or Alzheimer’s;
- Having physical disabilities;
- Living alone;
- Taking medications that impair judgement or mobility;
- Having depression.
If you believe your elderly loved one may be at risk for abuse, please contact us today for a free consultation on home care.
Elder Abuse Prevention
Abuse at any age can lead to serious, long-lasting physical and psychological damage. It’s important to be aware of the preventative measures against elder abuse, such as:
- Knowing how to avoid financial fraud;
- Preventing isolation and ensuring the elderly person has people to speak with (friends, family members, or a caregiver);
- Having a power of attorney or protection mandate for when the senior is no longer capable of making decisions for themself;
- Having a will prepared to avoid coercion or pressuring of estate inheritance;
- Knowing how and where to report abuse.
For those with senior parents living in Montreal (or elsewhere in Quebec), there are many services available for reporting abuse. These include the Elder Mistreatment Helpline, the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, and your local CLSC. If you believe a senior may be experiencing maltreatment, please make use of these resources to file a report.
When it comes to senior care, knowledge is the best defense against mistreatment. Being aware of elderly people’s vulnerability, as well as the high number of seniors who experience abuse, will make our communities safer for the aging population.
If you would like to know more about our caregiving services for Montreal seniors, please contact us today. We will be happy to give you more information on the services we provide, and how our caregivers can help prevent mistreatment, fraud, and other types of abuse for your elderly loved ones.