Financial Power of Attorney are doing the best thing for them. Advance Care Planning is important for all of us. In some cases, Substitute Decision Maker s must be appointed for seniors, and that really can be upsetting. My late mother didn't know what she didn't know. My late father had a brain tumour and dementia. They did not realize that they were having trouble making decisions.|
Many seniors, who live in poverty for example, are unable to advocate for themselves, and they are living with self-neglect. They do not have transportaion, or cannot afford to fix their home, bringing it up to code, or pay taxes. Advocates living in small towns can determine this type of victim. But are they a victim, or are they simply living outside their means? This is a function of poverty, not abuse.
One CTV.ca article says, 'In Canada, not one province has regulations covering abuse in retirement homes.'
This, surely is a mistake, as laws for abuse and neglect are clear in Ontario. It doesn't matter if this is a retirement home or long-term care. Whether a senior lives with another, family member, or in an apartment.
The question is can we identify it? In for-profit institutions, such as Charlotte Villa Retirement Residence , where such abuse took place, it is difficult to understand that there is denial. Family members must be proactive. Those who run institutions must be aware. There are signs of abuse, just as there are barriers to identifying abuse of seniors.
Barriers to identifying abuse
As with those who are predators of children, con men who can suck someone into spending large sums of money, many are groomed. See section 32(1) of the Substitute Decisions Act which provides “A guardian of property is a fiduciary whose powers and duties shall be exercised and performed diligently, with honesty and integrity and in good faith, for the incapable person’s benefit.”
Signs of abuse
Again, some of these symptoms are evidence of dementia, chronic diseases, polypharmacy, other medical issues. One must be careful. In fact, when my late father had his brain tumour removed, there was much bruising around his eyes and cheeks. No one told us this was normal. It was a result of the surgery, not falls.
In this case, it is up to loved ones to enter long-term care, and retirement homes frequently.
Checking arms for bruises. Checking for inappropriate behaviour: undue fears, evidence of feeling inhibited, PTSD attacks (e.g., seeing the whites of a victim's eyes indicates extreme fear.) There will be evidence of sexual abuse. It is up to Primary Care staff (the medical establishment) to ensure that there is no evidence.
Financial Abuse/Fraud and Scams
From January to November 2010, 1073 complaints were made to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC; formerly Phonebusters) by Ontario residents reporting this scam. 195 complaints in Ontario involved victims who were defrauded of more than $853-thousand. That money is often funnelled back into criminal organizations to perpetuate and expand the cycle of illegal activities further victimizing the unsuspecting public.If you suspect you or someone you know has been a victim of an 'emergency' money transfer or "Grandparent Scam", contact your local police service or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).FRAUD…Recognize it…Report it…Stop it.
LEARN MORECanadian Anti-Fraud Centre - The Emergency or Grandparent Scam
Here are some resources which may be of assistance
Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General website. See the section on Elder abuse
Advocacy Centre for the Elderly
Public Health Agency of Canada . This discusses the financial abuse of the elderly and possible ways to stop it.
Ontario’s Seniors’ Secretariat
Toronto Police services: Strategies | Community Mobilization | Ontario Statutes |
“ Elder Abuse: The Hidden Crime ” [PDF] by the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly and Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)
The duty to account is set out in the Substitute Decisions Act. There are regulations which set out how these accounts must be maintained. Please see ONTARIO REGULATION 100/96 ACCOUNTS AND RECORDS OF ATTORNEYS AND GUARDIANS
Ontario Criminal Code Offences