TORONTO, Feb. 17 /CNW/ - Ontario's population of residents aged 65 and over is projected to more than double from 1.8 million in
2009 to 4.2 million by 2036*. As this segment of our population continues to increase, reports of
elder abuse are on the rise. Elder abuse takes many forms and often
goes unreported due to embarrassment, loyalty, fear or guilt. Reported
occurrence rates range between 2% and 10%. Those who assist abused
victims believe the rate of abuse is closer to 10%.
Canadian studies have found that financial abuse is the most commonly
reported form of abuse experienced by older people. Financial abuse can
include frauds and scams as well as improper use of the continuing
power of attorney. Financial abuse is most commonly a pattern rather
than a single event and often happens over a long period of time. The
abuser is likely someone trusted such as a family member but may also
be a telemarketer or con artist. The victim is often influenced through
manipulation, lies or threats.
ONPEA recommends ways seniors can protect their money from abuse:
• Consult your own lawyer to draft a power of attorney document and
• Choose people you trust to make decisions about your money.
• Arrange direct deposit for your cheques into your own bank account.
• Speak to your bank manager by yourself, that is, in the absence of
your power of attorney, to make sure the bank is aware of your desires
and following your directions.
• Set-up automatic payments for your bills.
• Keep your bank PIN number safe and DO NOT share with anyone.
• Keep track of all transactions and regularly review bank statements
and financial records, even if you have a Power of Attorney doing this
• Before you sign any document make sure you fully understand it or wait
until you have someone you trust review it.
• Lend money only if you want to and always have a signed plan for
repayment, even for family members.
• Be aware of your legal rights.
• If anyone is taking advantage of you or your money - TELL SOMEONE.
Where seniors can go for help in Ontario:
• The Seniors' Safety Line 1-866-299-1011 operates 24/7 and in over 150
languages. They can assist with safety planning and provide resources
available in communities throughout Ontario.
• The Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (ONPEA)
416-916-6728 has regional offices throughout the province.
• Contact local police or OPP. Many regions have task forces and/or
officers who specialize in working with seniors.
• Contact Senior Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) for anonymous
The Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (ONPEA) is
dedicated to raising awareness of elder abuse and neglect, through
public education, professional training, advocacy, and service
coordination. In addition to implementing Ontario's Strategy to Combat
Elder Abuse, ONPEA supports a growing number of vital projects and
research in elder abuse and neglect prevention.
www.onpea.org | twitter.com/ONPEA
* Source: http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/economy/demographics/projections/
SOURCE Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (ONPEA)
For further information:
Karen Coons | 416.500.2373 | firstname.lastname@example.org