Taking care of elderly loved ones is a critical duty for many people. Making sure they have the care they need and respect they deserve is essential in preserving their dignity in the later years. That’s why victimization of the elderly – that assault on human dignity – is so abhorrent to most people, and why it should be stopped. You may have a parent or loved on in a position where they are being hurt or exploited. Here’s how to recognize the abuse and recourse available to you.
Types of Abuse
Elder abuse can be broadly sectioned into five categories. Physical abuse is when they are hurt, injured, or their health is otherwise directly harmed. Financial abuse is when their savings or assets are exploited or stolen by others. Psychological abuse involves the inflicting of mental anguish or suffering on the elderly person. Sexual abuse involves non-consensual sex, inappropriate touching, or sexual harassment. The final type of abuse is neglect or the refusal or failure to provide necessary services and care. Often an abuser will subject their victim to multiple types of the abuse listed above.
The first recourse is to do what you can provided you have the power. If they are being abused at a nursing home, for example, you can choose to remove them from the facility. The next is to call the police. The police will investigate the situation and if they feel a crime has been committed they will act. However, in some cases such as a family member accusing another of abuse, they may view it as a family dispute, and may not feel it warrants criminal charges. In Ontario one can also appeal to the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee who are given the power to protect seniors who may not be mentally capable of making their own decisions.
The third path for recourse is to take legal action through a specialized legal clinic or through a lawyer experienced with this kind of law. Through the courts your parent might be pulled from their predicament, with power of attorney stripped from the abuser and put in the care of people who will properly see to their needs. For situations like institutional abuse or neglect, legal action may be the only option for your parent to gain financial restitution.
If you suspect your parent or other elderly loved one is a victim of abuse you should take action to ensure that abuse ends. Call Conte & Associates at 1-877-614-0008. Based in Vaughan and Whitby, Conte & Associates works with clients in Whitby/Oshawa, and in the following cities in Ontario: Oshawa, Ajax, Pickering, Clarington, Newcastle, Courtice, Bowmanville, Newcastle, Port Perry, Belleville, and Peterborough.