Recognizing and Preventing Elder Abuse

Photo of elderly man talking on the telephone

According to Canada’s Department of Justice, seven per cent of seniors report some form of emotional or financial abuse. As our population ages, elder abuse has become a serious and growing concern.

Elder abuse exists in many forms, including physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse and neglect. The perpetrators are often family members, caregivers or friends. Constable Trevor Zwarich from the Winnipeg Police Service says some of the warning signs of abuse include a sudden change in behavior or appearance, such as deterioration in personal hygiene, untreated bedsores or a sudden onset of physical injuries or repeated ‘accidents’ causing injuries.  There could also be a change in banking activities and legal documents, or a lack of money to pay for rent, utility bills or food.