Q: I have reason to believe one of my family members is taking financial advantage of my brother. What do I need to know and how can I intervene?
E: You are not alone. According to government figures, one in five Canadians believes they know of a senior who may be experiencing some form of abuse. You should also appreciate that the definition of elder abuse is wider than you might think. It is defined as: “Any action by someone in a relationship of trust that results in harm or distress to an older person.” Types of elder abuse include active or passive neglect, physical or sexual abuse, financial abuse and exploitation, emotional or psychological abuse (including verbal abuse and threats), and abandonment. Sadly, experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect that is reported, more than 20 cases go unreported.
One of the most commonly reported types of mistreatment is financial abuse and exploitation. If you think this is the case with your brother then you should seek counsel from a trusted advisor, such as a lawyer, spiritual leader or doctor. You can learn more about elder abuse from Elder Abuse Ontario: Visit elderabuseontario.com or call 416-916-6728.
The questions in this issue of Caregiver Solutions were answered by the experts at Bayshore Home Health.