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Elder abuse: One of the least-reported crimes

It is easy to think of children and the disabled as being among society's most vulnerable demographics. However, here in Ontario and across the nation, another largely silent group is being routinely abused and taken advantage of, sometimes even by those tasked to take care of them. Elder abuse is one of the least-reported forms of abuse, and across the country organizations are mobilizing to bring attention to this critical issue. 

June 15 marked World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and in Lambton County, representatives from the RCMP, Lambton Elderly Outreach and the awareness group It's Not Right joined forces to educate the public about this pervasive issue. It is upsetting for many Canadians to learn that some 10 percent of the elderly population experiences abuse (according to a 2013 Justice Department report). However, it is even more so when one considers that so many instances of elder abuse go unreported. 

There are a number of reasons why the elderly do not report mistreatment. In some cases, the senior might suffer from dementia or other issues that influence their cognitive functions. Indeed, they may not even be aware of the neglect and abuse. In many cases, however, they fear reprisal, since a great deal of elder abuse is perpetrated by family and caregivers. This is the national epidemic World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is meant to highlight. 

Of course, most Ontario residents would agree that elder abuse is a reprehensible crime. This is why support is available, not just for those individuals experiencing abuse, but also those who would advocate for victims. Seeking this support from experienced personal injury attorneys can provide the legal advice and clout required to stop elder abuse and support victims on the road to recovery. 

Source:, "Spotlight on elder abuse", Carl Hnatyshyn, June 20, 2017

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