Senior citizens are among the most vulnerable sectors of society. Elder abuse in any form is unconscionable, including trying to bilk seniors out of their hard-earned money. Ontario has laws in place to prevent this from happening, yet unfortunately, it still does.
Sadly, financial abuse of elders is often at the hands of those they love and trust the most — family members. Seniors who suffer from dementia are particularly susceptible. For instance, an Ontario woman was recently convicted of fraud after cleaning out her mother’s bank account. Her mother has Alzheimer’s disease. Elders very often also fall for scams which are initiated over the telephone or the internet, and because of embarrassment, many seniors don’t report these types of abuses.
There are ways of preventing this type of abuse. Personal information like social insurance numbers and bank account numbers should never be shared. If someone asks a senior for a pin number, it’s a definite red flag. The best way to educate seniors is to teach them to say no when someone asks for this kind of information. Checking financial statements is also extremely important to make sure everything is in order.
Many cases of elder abuse include fraud. There are many forms abuse can take. An Ontario senior citizen has the right to speak with a lawyer on how he or she can pursue compensation for any abuses that have occurred. If a senior cannot speak for him or herself, a trusted family member can speak to a lawyer on his or her behalf.