Elder abuse or neglect is when there is violence against seniors or mistreatment of seniors, including neglect of seniors who depend on others for care. Abuse or neglect may take many different forms including physical, sexual, emotional, and financial. Many types of abuse, and some types of neglect, are criminal offences.
Older Canadians are valuable members of our communities, yet many are vulnerable to various forms of ageism, abuse, mistreatment and isolation from the same communities that also value them. Ageism is commonly understood to be, “the stereotyping of, and discrimination against, individuals or groups because of their age”. While this can include those who are young or old, ageism appears to be a more significant issue for older members of our society. Indeed, many have come to remark how this form of discrimination still appears to be the last acceptable ‘ism’ in our society.
This resource book is intended to help raise awareness of issues of senior abuse in the lives of senior Aboriginal women, their families and communities. It is meant to help promote the safety and well-being of our seniors and Elders, both women and men, and to honour them as they would be traditionally.
The authors aim was to identify if specific programs or strategies are useful to prevent or reduce abuse in older people (60 years and over). They looked to include studies that described the effect of these programs or strategies whether aimed at the elderly themselves or people (such as caregivers or nursing home staff) with whom they interact.
Financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse in Canada. Financial abuse can happen at any time, but it will often start after a health crisis or after the death of a spouse, partner or close friend. People who are alone, lonely or in poor health are more vulnerable.
The CASE tool was created by Myrna Reis and Daphne Nahmiash and is designed to be administered to caregivers of elderly individuals. It comprises eight yes or no questions, and can make a handy tool to use in psychosocial assessments if you are a counsellor or a case manager.
Canadian criminal law does not mandate the reporting of elder abuse on a national basis. The Criminal Code1 does not explicitly define “elder abuse” as a discrete crime, nor does it provide any legal mechanism or requirement for the reporting of abuse. Elder abuse, when it forms the substance of a criminal offence, may be reported to a law enforcement agency at the discretion of the reporter, as with any other crime.
This research brief synthesizes the latest available information and research relating to the mistreatment of API elders. Information is provided on API perception of elder mistreatment, API emphasis of the group/family over the individual, API help seeking behavior, assessment of elder mistreatment, considerations for intervention, and oncultural considerations for elder mistreatment by API sub-group.