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Resources for Older Adults
Resources for Older Adults
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Abuse of older adults is a very complex issue because of the dynamics involved. Abusers are most often family or caregivers and contrary to commonly held beliefs, most older adults who experience abuse or neglect are mentally competent, not dependent and do not require constant care. Older adults often fear having to leave their home. They feel pressure about what will happen to the abuser and what the family and community might think if they come forward.

It is because of this that elder abuse is largely under-reported. About 80% of abuse or neglect of older adults is hidden or goes undetected. Only one in five cases comes to the attention of authorities. Like many forms of abuse, women make up the majority of reported cases; almost two thirds of abuse or neglect that comes to the attention of community agencies.

Learn more about the abuse of Older Adults.

Most of us are familiar with what acts define physical, emotional and sexual abuse. But abuse of older adults also includes violation of rights, spiritual abuse, neglect and most common, financial abuse.

Learn more about the various Types of Abuse and Neglect.

Regardless of the situation, abuse or neglect of an older adult is wrong and many types of abuse or neglect are crimes under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Recognizing Signs of Abuse against Older Adults

Older Adults may tell you they're being harmed, but often times they won't or can't. It is important to recognize some of the signs of abuse. Some include;

  • Depression or Anxiety
  • Fear of people around them
  • Have unexplained injuries
  • Suddenly become unable to meet financial obligations

Click to learn more about Recognizing the Signs of Abuse.
 
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Prevention of Abuse Against Older Adults
The following are tips to help protect yourself and a loved one from being abused.

Self Protection:

Step 1 - Maintain contact with relatives, neighbors, and friends. This keeps people updated on your welfare so you can receive help if something unusual occurs. Isolating yourself from others can leave you helpless if trouble arises.

Step 2 - Set up a buddy system with other trusted elders.

Step 3 - Ask relatives and friends to visit you regularly.

Step 4 - Tell someone if you're not happy with the way you're being treated.

Step 5 - Keep your mail-handling personal. Don't let anyone else open it.

Step 6 - Review documents before signing them or have someone you trust to review them for you.

Step 7 - Set up direct deposit for your Social Security check and pension instead of having them sent by mail.

Protect Others From Elder Abuse

Step 1 - Call and visit your loved one regularly.

Step 2 - Look out for signs of anything suspicious.

Step 3 - Be open with your loved one and assure them you are trustworthy. Let them know you're there to help them.

Step 4 - Review your loved one's financial transactions as permitted. Look for unauthorized credit card or bank transactions.

Step 5 - Report instances of abuse to the local authorities and get legal help if necessary.
 
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Where to Find Help
If you are a senior and think you may be abused, there is help. Everyone has the right to dignity and respect, regardless of age.

Click to view National and Provincial Resources for victims who are Older Adults.

Click here to find out what you can do if you are a Victim, Family Member, or Service Provider.

The authority for the prevention of Violence against Older Adults in Labrador is Labrador Grenfell Health at 709-454-0372 and your local RCMP or RNC.

Click here for all Crisis Contact Information for Labrador

The Senior's Resource Centre operates a toll free information line answered by trained seniors who listen and provide support. The number is 1-800-569-5599.

The Senior's Resource Centre has a toll-free Caregiver Line that provides support and information to unpaid caregivers. The number is 1-888-571-2273.

Links for Additional Resources

The following links can provide you with more information on protecting yourself or a loved one, where to find support and what your options are.

  • The Seniors Resource Centre is a non-profit, charitable, voluntary organization administered by a Board of Directors. As an association, it is dedicated to promoting the independence and well being of older adults in Newfoundland and Labrador through the provision of information as well as various programs and services.
  • The Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse provides a web site to provide information to raise awareness of key issues around abuse and neglect in later life and to ensure older adults are treated as full citizens in Canadian society.
  • The Canadian Caregiver Coalition is the national voice for the needs and interests of family caregivers.
 
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