June is Seniors Month, an annual celebration across Ontario that DRPS be participating in by attending community events and educating the public about senior safety.
Preventing crime and maintaining safe communities are important for everyone, but it is especially important for seniors, as they are often targets of abuse, fraud and theft. DRPS encourages the community to learn about these issues so that we can all help keep our communities safe.
Elder abuse is more common than you may think, and manifests itself in four ways: physical, emotional, financial and sexual. Often times, the abuser is a friend, family members or service worker who isolates the elder from any kind of support. The most common form of elder abuse, financial abuse, results in the misuse of the elder's money. Signs can include: property being sold unexpectedly, large sums of money being taken from a bank account, and unexplained debt. Physical abuse can be spotted through various unexplained and/or frequent injuries.
Phone, Internet and door-to-door scams are continue to grow, with many of them targeting seniors. For instance, home improvement contractors have convinced citizens to provide down payments for repair work, and when the payment is received, never show up to complete the work. Internet and phone scams include sending emails to elders, claiming to be relatives in an emergency situation, requesting money be sent overseas. Seniors are often targeted as they can feel intimidated or unaware of their other options. Fraud reports involving an older adult increased 82 % from 293 in 2012 to 534 in 2017.
Safety at Home
Check on the Well-being calls for Seniors has increased from 109 in 2012 to 307 in 2017. Maintaining independence is important for many seniors, with 92 per cent of seniors living in their own homes. It is important to keep a safe home, and DRPS would like to offer the following safety tips:
- Remove area rugs and other clutter that can become tripping hazards
- Make sure all areas of the home, both internal and external, have appropriate lighting
- Make sure handrails are properly secured and use anti-slip flooring in tubs and showers
- Consider a lifeline system in case in emergency
For more information on the above, visit the Senior Safety Tips area of our website.
Additionally, DRPS officers will be celebrating Senior's Month at the following events:
June 4 - Sgt. Tate is filming the local Rogers show: Seniors Talk with Sgt. Sheri. The show will be about raising awareness of elder abuse and how the police and Elder Abuse Ontario are doing to their part to stop it. Check the Rogers website here for air times.
June 6 - 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Senior support members will be at Memorial Park as part of the Swing into Summer Event hosted by the Oshawa Senior Citizens Centre.
June 9 - from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Abbylawn Manor is hosting a fundraiser for the Durham Elder Abuse Network and the DRPS Senior Support Unit will be there.
June 12 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. At the George Ashe Library and Community Centre in the Russell Franklin and Helen Paris Rooms - Sgt. Tate and other Crime Prevention police officers are hosting the Speakers Bureau where questions can be asked about who to call and when! Various topics will be discussed including Elder Abuse.
June 15 - World Elder Abuse Day
DRPS continues to support seniors in our communities through outreach and education. On average our Senior Support Coordinator Sgt. Tate takes part in approximately 30 presentations a year to educate community groups so that older adults won't fall victim to the many ongoing scams. In addition, our Major Crime Fraud Unit gives presentations to community groups, Seniors and businesses such as banks to help protect the vulnerable community.
For more information, contact Senior Support Coordinator, Sgt. Sheri Tate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seniors Month (JPG file, 13,259.4K bytes)