The population in Canada is aging, and as a result, more Canadians than ever will find themselves in Assisted Living facilities in the coming years. According to Employment and Social Development Canada, seniors (over 65) are the fastest growing population group in Canada, and that trend is expected to continue for decades to come. The majority of seniors in Canada live in private homes, either with a spouse, alone, or with others such as family members, but the trend is toward more seniors living in collective dwellings such as nursing homes (Statistics Canada: Living arrangements of seniors). Additionally, the older a Canadian gets, the more likely he or she will end up in a special care facility. Prices for private care are high, and public facilities can be overcrowded with overworked staff – but public or private, in-home or out, the risks of elder abuse are always present.
When we think of elder abuse, we often imagine it taking place in a cold, unfeeling nursing home, as those are the cases most reported in the news. But the reality is that elder abuse can be perpetrated at home or in a care facility, by a caregiver, spouse, adult child, or other person related or unrelated to the senior. According to the Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Network, approximately 23,000 Alberta seniors are currently experiencing some form of abuse, including:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual assault
- Psychological abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Neglect, resulting in such things as bedsores
- Withholding or providing improper or inadequate food (malnutrition, dehydration)
- Withholding or providing improper or inadequate medical care or medication (including prescription theft or misuse)
- Human rights abuses
- Financial abuse, which can include fraud, embezzlement, misuse of a senior’s money, and anything generally intended to deprive a senior of his or her funds or steal his or her identity
In extreme cases, elder abuse can result in the wrongful death of a senior. If someone you love has suffered or died as a result of elder abuse or nursing home negligence, we can help. Our lawyers have helped seniors and their families recover financial compensation in cases like these, and we understand the complexities and strong emotional issues that come with them. But if you suspect a senior you care about has suffered elder abuse, your first call should be to the police. Other resources include the Kirby Centre Elder Abuse Response Team (EART) in Calgary, the Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Network, and the Edmonton Police Service’s Elder Abuse Intervention Team. When you need the services of our firm, we’ll be here for you, whether you’re in Calgary, Edmonton, or anywhere in Alberta. Just give us a call, and we’ll set up a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.