How to Identify Abuse Against Seniors in Canada? Find Out More

How to Identify Abuse Against Seniors in Canada? Find Out More

As our population ages, the number of abused seniors is also increasing. Unfortunately, elder abuse is often hidden and goes undetected. Seniors may be reluctant to speak up or may not even be aware that they are being abused.

You must be aware of the signs of elder abuse and know what to do if you suspect someone you know is a victim. For example, not many know that dental malpractice can be a form of elder abuse, requiring lawyers for dental malpractice claims.

Read more to find out about elder abuse and how to identify it.

What Is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse is any mistreatment that results in harm or loss to a senior. It can take numerous forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, financial, and neglect. Elder and senior abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, or economic status.

Unfortunately, elder abuse is often hidden because seniors are afraid to speak up or don’t even realize they are being abused.

The Public Health Agency of Canada 2014 stated that elder abuse could impact victims significantly, including loneliness and depression, financial problems, increased dependency, and even shorter life span.

The most common elder abuse types are:

  • Physical abuse: This involves violence such as hitting, pushing, shaking, slapping, punching, kicking, choking, or burning. In case of physical injuries, seniors can file a lawsuit with the help of experienced and qualified lawyers, such as Valent Legal.
  • Sexual abuse: This includes non-consensual sexual contact or forcing a senior to participate in sexual acts.
  • Financial abuse: This is when someone illegally or improperly uses a senior’s money or property for their own gain. It can also involve forcing a senior to sign over power of attorney or changing the beneficiary on their life insurance policy.
  • Psychological abuse: This includes emotional or mental abuse such as yelling, name-calling, making threats, isolating a senior from friends and family, or controlling what they do and where they go.
  • Neglect: This is when a caregiver fails to provide the necessary care for a senior such as food, shelter, clothing, or medical attention. For instance, a chiropractor might commit medical malpractice if they fail to treat a senior’s injury properly. This can result in the involvement of a chiropractic malpractice lawyer for compensation.

What Are the Signs of Elder Abuse?

The signs of elder abuse depend on the type of abuse. However, some common indicators may suggest that a senior is being abused. These include:

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Bruises, cuts, or welts in various stages of healing
  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Sprains or dislocations
  • Burns
  • Bedsores
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Poor hygiene
  • Unkempt appearance
  • Signs of fear, anxiety, or depression
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Sudden changes in mood or behavior
  • Sudden change in power of attorney or will
  • Loss of money or belongings
  • Unpaid bills or sudden financial problems

Preventing Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is a serious issue all over the world that needs to be addressed. There are some things you can do to help prevent it.

If you are an elderly, you can help prevent elder abuse by:

  • Knowing your rights and speaking up if you feel you are being mistreated
  • Keeping your financial information private and being careful about who you give power of attorney to
  • Having a support system (family or friends) to whom you can talk about your concerns

If you are a caregiver, you can help prevent elder abuse by:

  • Taking breaks often and getting respite care when needed
  • Seeking help from family and friends when caring for a senior
  • Attending educational workshops on how to deal with stress and provide care

If you are a family member, friend, or you know a senior, you can help prevent elder abuse by:

  • Staying in regular contact with seniors in your life
  • Asking about their well-being and if they are being treated properly
  • Listening to their problems and assisting them to get help if needed
  • Talking to the senior about your concerns
  • Contacting adult protective services or the police
  • Getting in touch with a lawyer specializing in elder abuse cases for advice on what steps to take next.

Final Words

Elder or senior abuse is a serious problem that can significantly impact victims. If you suspect a senior in your life is being abused, taking action is crucial. You can help prevent elder abuse by staying in regular contact with seniors, listening to their concerns, and getting help if needed.

Ultimately, hire reputable and experienced lawyers specializing in elder abuse to help you protect the rights of elders and get the compensation they deserve.