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Non-Emergency? Call 1 (866) 876-5423

Recognizing Elder Abuse

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An elderly female

Elder abuse is any action or inaction by a person in a position of trust which jeopardizes the health and well-being of an elder. The abuser may be a family member, friend, neighbour or someone providing personal care or professional services to a senior. Elder Abuse is often a hidden crime and signs may not be easily recognized.

Types of Elder Abuse

  • Physical - pushing, shaking, hitting, restraining, over-medicating
  • Emotional - insulting, threatening, humiliating, isolating from family and friends, removal of decision-making powers
  • Neglect - denial of adequate nutrition, medical attention, shelter, clothing or physical aids like walkers, glasses or canes
  • Sexual Abuse - any unwanted or non-consensual sexual activity
  • Financial - theft of money, unauthorized use of debit or credit cards, forging signatures on personal cheques, unauthorized granting of power of attorney

How to Recognize Elder Abuse

  • Signs of physical abuse - unexplained cuts, bruises, bites, burns or fractures
  • Signs of emotional abuse - withdrawal, depression, anxiety, fear
  • Signs of neglect - poor hygiene, inappropriate or inadequate clothing, lack of safety precautions, unhealthy appearance
  • Signs of financial abuse - missing personal belongings or cash, unusual withdrawals from bank accounts, unusual credit card activity, forged documents, theft by power of attorney

Help is Available 

If you, or anyone you know, are suffering from elder abuse, please reach out. There are numerous resources available to help:

York Regional Police Victims Assistance Officer 1-866-876-5423 ext. 6649 or 6664
York Regional Police Seniors Safety Officer 1-866-876-5423 ext: 6697
Support Services for Seniors - Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) 1-888-470-2222
Community Crisis Support Line (COPE) 1-855-310-2673
York Region Health Services1-866-967-5582 Ext. 297
Advocacy Centre for the Elderly416-598-2656
Guardian/Trustee Investigation Unit - Elder Related cases416-327-6671 fax: 416-314-5301
24-Hour Crisis and Emergency Housing 1-800-263-3247
Yellow Brick House (Women's Shelter)1-800-263-3247
Sandgate (Women's Shelter) 1-800-661-8294