Crimes Against the Elderly

15 Mar

The other day I awoke to a phone call from a stranger wanting the phone number for my late uncle’s private caregiver. My caller was desperate. Her 86-year-old father’s most recent caregiver had swindled him out of a large sum of money  involving tens of thousands of dollars. And then she left, leaving the man depressed and unwilling to eat or drink until he became so dehydrated he had to be hospitalized. Her story was sad, but what was most shocking to me was this woman had no idea her father’s caregiver was engaging in elder abuse. In fact, she had no idea there even was such a thing as elder abuse.

Elder Abuse is far too real. Of the 1.5 million seniors living in Ontario, research from the  Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse,  indicates four to ten percent (60,000-150,000) have experienced, or are experiencing, abuse of some kind. Hardly surprising, financial fraud is the most common form of elder abuse.

What happened to that woman’s father happens to far too many seniors. If you live in Ontario and suspect an older person is being abused, call the Seniors Safety Line at 1-866-299-1011. The line is manned 24/7 and the staff is able to provide service in 150 languages.

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