Thursday, August 10, 2017

Is your family member at risk of elder abuse?

(NC) One in five Canadians believes they know of a senior who may be experiencing some form of elder abuse. If you're concerned about a loved one, the first step to preventing or dealing with it is understanding the problem.

Elder abuse is defined as any action by someone in a relationship of trust that results in harm or distress to an older person. Neglect is characterized by a lack of action by a person in a relationship of trust with the same result. Often, more than one type of abuse occurs at the same time.

Unfortunately, abuse of some of our most vulnerable happens every day in communities across the country, without regard to social, economic or ethnic groups.

Types of elder abuse include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse and active and/or passive neglect (including verbal abuse and threats), as well as financial abuse, the most commonly reported type of elder abuse.

Helping them to stay connected and to avoid isolation are the best things you can do for your loved one. By helping seniors build a network of family, friends, caregivers and neighbours, the risk for elder abuse is significantly reduced.

If you think they're at risk of financial abuse and exploitation, some precautionary measures you may consider taking include ensuring any income is directly deposited into their checking account, working with an attorney to have an estate plan in place, and asking them to name a trusted person to make healthcare and financial decisions should they become incapable.

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