Silence is violence’s best friend. All victims of violence or of neglect must confide in a reliable person: their doctor, a resource person from the CLSC or a community agency, a friend.
Even if difficult to do, seeking help is important. A person who witnesses violent acts against an elder must not remain silent. They should contact their local CLSC for advice and help if necessary.
If the elder runs a serious risk or for emergency situations, contact the police by calling 911.
The following is a list of complementary resources that can help:
|INFO ABUS toll free help line
|1 888 489-2287
|INFO ABUS web site
|Association québécoise de défense des droits des personnes retraitées et préretaités (AQDR)
|Le Réseau FADOQ (French only)
|Le Centre d'assistance et d'accompagnement aux plaintes
|1 800 465-2433
|La Commission des droits de la personne
|Research chair on mistreatment of older adults
Elder abuse, neglect and violence
Different types of abuse
Physical abuse translates into pain and injuries which are deliberately inflicted, for example, by making someone fall whose balance is already unstable. Included to the different types of physical abuse is the excessive use of physical restraints and of medication and sexual assault.
For their part, psychological and emotional abuse are manifested through verbal aggression, insults, and infantilisation. Isolation, the deprivation of human warmth, social relations and spirituality constitute other forms of psychological abuse.
Finally, the abuse most frequently reported is financial in nature. Specifically, it’s about theft, misappropriation of funds, fraudulent powers of attorney, forced sale of personal goods, refusal to reimburse loans, etc.
Who are the victims?
Victims can be men as much as women, the elderly in affluent environments as much as those from poorer ones. No one is safe from abuse!
What to do if you suspect that an elder is being abused?
- Make sure to speak to the elder alone to verify what they think about the situation.
- Take the time to listen and to refrain from passing judgement.
- Tell the person that they do not deserve to be treated this way and that they are not responsible for what is happening. Encourage them to report the abuser and to file a complaint.
- Suggest that they seek help from a professional (a psychologist, an intervener at the CLSC).
- Speak to an intervener at Info-Social, the Aide Abus Aînés help line or your CLSC.
Do not trivialize abuse. The consequences for the victim can be serious.
- Shame, humiliation, sadness, anger.
- Fear, psychological distress.
- Isolation, marginalisation.
- Poverty, reduced quality of life.
- Injuries, sickness, decline in overall health.
- Depression, suicide, early death.
Documentation (visit our documentation centre)