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  Senior's Month: Elder Abuse

Jun 09, 2014 11:12 ET

This week, in recognition of Senior's Month, we want to talk about elder abuse. The DRP recognizes that elder abuse (sometimes called 'the Hidden Crime') is on the rise in Durham Region and may not be easily recognized. Elder abuse manifests in four ways: physical, emotional, financial and sexual, however most of the time, the abuse shows as a combination of these traits. An abuser could be a friend, family member or service worker, who will often isolate the elder from any other kind of support.

Financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse. Warning signs may include the elder's home being sold unexpectedly, large amounts of money being transferred from their bank account and the misplacement of small, valuable items like jewelry. Physical abuse can be spotted by unexplained and/or frequent injuries. Emotional abuse can include yelling, ignoring the person, scolding, shouting, insulting, threatening, humiliation, isolation and control, which can result in the elder having low-self-esteem and becoming fearful. Types of sexual abuse include rape and sexual harassment.

Prevention of Elder Abuse for Seniors
- Keep busy by joining a club of interest, go out with friends and volunteer.
- Foster good relationships with friends and family. Keep in touch as much as possible.
- Use direct deposit for incoming money so it goes directly into your bank account.
- Keep educated and attend seminars on elder abuse so you know your rights.

Tips for Friends and Family
- Educate yourself on the rights of elders by attending seminars or joining a committee.
- Explain the rights to elders.
- Take the time to speak to elders about their current situation and listen carefully to what they have to say.

If you need help, or suspect someone may be being abused, please call us at 1-888-579-1250. You can also reach out to the Durham Elder Abuse Network (D.E.A.N.) as it is available for anyone in need. Please visit their website at www.durhamelderabusenetwork.ca for further information.

Let's work together to keep our seniors safe during their twilight years.

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