The abusers can be a spouse, adult child, other family member, a care giver, a service provider, or other person in a situation of power or trust.
Many cases of elder abuse go unreported. In recognition of this, the Nova Scotia RCMP wants to raise awareness of elder abuse and how to protect against it.
Signs that an older adult may be experiencing abuse or neglect include:
– Adult says they are being harmed;
– Shows signs of depression or anxiety;
– Seems fearful around certain people;
– Becomes socially withdrawn (having less contact with people who they have been close to in the past);
– Becomes passive and very compliant;
– Has unexplained physical injuries (i.e. bruises, broken bones);
– Lacks food, clothing and other necessities;
– Shows changes in their hygiene or nutrition (e.g. signs of malnutrition);
– Suddenly becomes unable to meet financial obligations;
– Has an unusual withdrawal from their bank or other financial institutions.
Throughout the year, the RCMP hold a number of education sessions for seniors, families and care givers on the topic of elder abuse at local senior’s clubs or by visiting senior’s homes. Later today, June 15, Enfield RCMP is co-hosting a seminar from 2:00 – 4 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion Enfield. All are welcome.
If you are a senior who is being taken advantage of and you don’t know what to do or you have an older friend or relative who needs help, contact your local police or RCMP detachment to file a confidential compliant.
Police can investigate complaints to determine if criminal charges are warranted and can refer victims of elder abuse to Victim Services who are a group of trained professionals and volunteers. Seniors have every right to live in safety and security.
The RCMP is committed to educating citizens on the causes and dangers of elder abuse. For additional information please contact www.seniors.gc.ca, www.gov.ns.ca/seniors or phone Nova Scotia Senior Abuse Information Line: 1-877-833-3377.