Thursday, August 23, 2007

Seniors in Double Crisis


Those in temporary safe houses fleeing elder abuse now face accommodation crunch Officials at one of Canada's only safe houses for seniors fleeing abuse are bracing for a housing crunch of their own.

The safe house, which has seven beds in a secret location in the city, is one of only two such facilities in Alberta.

Seniors in crisis can stay there, free of charge, for up to 60 days. But with the rental market so tight in the city, officials say a growing number of people are having trouble finding a new home when it's time to move out.

"Housing is becoming a real issue,"

A social worker with the city's elder abuse intervention team said demand for such services is only going to escalate as public awareness of the issue continues to grow.

"(Elder abuse) is a good 10 years behind in recognition of other kinds of family violence," said Trina Schmidt.

The society's Ruth Adria says the process is too arbitrary and "totally flawed."
She said the current standards of determining a senior's competency are not well-defined and can lead to horrific cases of financial abuse.

She says in too many cases, perfectly competent people are having all their decision-making authority taken from them and placed in the hands of others.

Abridged >>

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