National Senior Safety Week

by Natalie MacLellan on November 9, 2010

in Fraud Prevention, In the News

November 7-13 is National Senior Safety Week in Canada. This year’s theme, “Preventing Elder Abuse,” provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about elder abuse and the safety precautions that seniors can take to maintain their independence.

The Canadian government estimates that between four and ten percent of seniors in Canada experience some kind of abuse, though with reporting rates being very low, it is likely that these numbers underestimate the problem.

Elder abuse may include neglect and physical abuse, sexual, psychological or emotional abuse, or even financial abuse.

One of the most devastating and costly forms of senior financial abuse — investment fraud — is often carried out by trusted financial advisers or even family and friends.

Seniors are increasingly targeted by con artists using investment pitches, often in a place the senior believes to be a safe setting like church, a social club, or through supposedly educational “free lunch” seminars.

Help seniors spot and stop financial abuse and exploitation by knowing what to look for and who to call for assistance. Call the Nova Scotia Securities Commission (or your local securities regulator) if you believe that you or someone you know may be the victim of financial abuse or exploitation through an investment scam.

Help stop senior abuse in all its forms. The following resources from the government of Nova Scotia may be of assistance:

Senior Abuse Line: 1- 877- 833- 3377

Call the Senior Abuse Line for information or to talk about a situation of abuse. Your call will be kept confidential.

Police: 911 for emergencies only

Abuse may be a crime and fall under the Criminal Code. Call your local police station for information or to report abuse. If the situation is an emergency or if it could be dangerous, call 911.

Adult Protection: 1- 800- 225- 7225

If you know of a senior in need of protection, call Adult Protection Services at the Department of Health. Adult Protection workers can intervene and offer services to help those in need of protection.

Protection of Persons in Care: 1- 800- 225- 7225

Report known or suspected cases of abuse in a licensed health facility (such as a nursing home, residential care facility, or hospital) to the Protection of Persons in Care office at the Department of Health.

For general inquiries related to senior abuse or to talk about a situation of abuse, you can also e-mail [email protected]

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