Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Financial Abuse of Our Elders is "Huge"

by Gillian Brunette

Statistics show there are more people over the age of 65 living in Ontario than in any other province in Canada.

As baby boomers slowly creep toward their golden years the numbers will increase. According to Statistics Canada, by 2021 there will be as many seniors in Canada as there are children.
“If by 2021 the number of seniors double, then it’s our position that there will be double the amount of crime against the elderly,” said Sergeant Rick Tout, the provincial co-ordinator of the Seniors Assistance Team.

Abuse takes many forms, said Tout. “Financial abuse is the largest we see. It’s huge. Neglect is a big issue; so is psychological and physical abuse.”

Financial abuse is more often than not perpetrated by a family member, Tout said, relating the story of an old lady living in a retirement home whose daughter had power of attorney. She was making the cheques to the retirement home, but the cheques bounced. Finally after three bounced cheques the home approached the elderly resident. It turned out that the daughter had withdrawn $695,000 and gone to the United States.
“She was charged with theft by power of attorney,” said Tout.

“Someone, a professional, told me it was about time the police were involved, that it had been going on for a long time. Here’s a professional blaming the police.”

abridged read it all here >>

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