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Rate of elder abuse in Canada on the rise

Statistics Canada indicate a disturbing study that suggests Canadians are not treating their senior population particularly well. Elder abuse rates are on the rise across the country, both here in Ontario and elsewhere. While such abuse is likely to be perpetrated by members of the victim's own family, the study also takes into consideration scams that specifically target the elderly population. 

According to the report, in some provinces the rate of elder abuse can rise to as much as 83 incidents per 100,000 people. While this might seem like a statistically insignificant number, Statistics Canada notes that many cases of elder abuse go unreported. It is estimated that only 20 percent of seniors who experience elder abuse actually report it. There are several postulated reasons why, including a fear of not being believed. 

In some cases, the senior in question may not even be aware he or she is being subjected to abuse. Telemarketing scams are notorious for targeting older people who can be coerced into financial ruin by savvy marketers. Even those who become aware of a scam are often reticent to admit they were defrauded, out of a sense of shame. 

Many of the cornerstones of elder abuse ring true for abuse victims of any stripe, but the senior population bears the distinction of being a particularly vulnerable demographic, both here in Ontario and elsewhere. It is vital that anyone who becomes aware of elder abuse in one's family to report the incidents to the proper authorities. It is also possible to seek the support of experienced attorneys to help pursue a claim for financial damages sustained by a victim. 

Source:, "Elder abuse rates rise", Andrew Glen, Feb. 27, 2017

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