Toronto Elder Abuse Lawyer
It is devastating when we discover that a loved one who is getting on in years—whether it is a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or other close family member—has been the victim of elder abuse.
The elderly rely on caregivers, including nurses, other medical professionals, visiting personal care staff, as well as those working in retirement homes and nursing homes.
Elderly people may be in discomfort, pain, or emotional distress. Frequently, the elderly are incapacitated physically, emotionally, or verbally and cannot tell you that they are victims of elder abuse.
But when you discover that grandma has unexplained bruises or even broken bones, or that a trusted caregiver has been helping himself or herself to your dad’s bank account regularly, you will need a Toronto Elder Abuse lawyer like Christopher Stienburg to help stop the elder abuse.
Elder Law, a relatively new practice area within the Canadian Bar Association, includes issues that affect our rapidly aging population, principally the Baby Boomers. Elder Law also includes a series of steps that that family and relatives can take to ensure that the physical, financial, and legal rights of elderly relatives are protected.
Seniors aged 65 and older represent about 17% of Canada’s population, according to Stats Can. A survey released in 2016 by the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE) estimated that 766,000 Canadian seniors—more than three-quarters of a million—were abused. That’s double the figure from 1989. Further, elder abuse tends to affect elderly women more than men.
The actual NICE Report is here.
Saddest of all, perpetrators of elder abuse include children, other family members, and spouses—as well as staff at nursing homes, assisted living, and other facilities.
Vigilance, coupled with the assistance of a Toronto Elder Abuse lawyer is the first step to fixing the terrible problem of elder abuse.
Elder Law Services
Toronto Elder Abuse lawyer Christopher Stienburg can help you with these specific services, if you suspect that the not-so-young person you love is the victim of elder abuse:
- Age discrimination
- General planning for aging
- Elder abuse and exploitation
- Power of Attorney (POA) disputes
- Housing of older persons and care facility regulation
- Ethical and practical aspects of advising the older client
- Mental capacity and consent
- Guardianship and court appointed substitute decision making
- Health care decision making
Types of Elder Abuse
Physical abuse is the most visible, and therefore the easiest type of elder abuse to recognize. Unfortunately, there are many other ways that the elderly can be taken advantage of and exploited. If you notice any of these conditions, contact Christopher Stienburg, your Toronto Elder Abuse lawyer:
Physical abuse means inflicting physical pain or injury upon an older adult.
Sexual abuse means touching, fondling, intercourse, or any other sexual activity with an older adult, when the older adult is unable to understand, unwilling to consent, threatened, or physically forced.
Emotional abuse means verbal assaults, threats of abuse, harassment, or intimidation.
Confinement means restraining or isolating an older adult, other than for medical reasons.
Passive neglect is a caregiver’s failure to provide an older adult with life’s necessities, including, but not limited to, food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.
Willful deprivation means denying an older adult medication, medical care, shelter, food, a therapeutic device, or other physical assistance, and exposing that person to the risk of physical, mental, or emotional harm—except when the older, competent adult has expressed a desire to go without such care.
Financial exploitation means the misuse or withholding of an older adult’s money by another person. Someone could be misappropriating property, bank account, and credit card information. Carefully examine bank statements and credit card statements; are there large, unexplained purchases, for items that your loved one did not order?
Facts on Abuse of Seniors, published by the Government of Canada.
How to Spot Signs of Elder Abuse
- While bruises and broken bones are easy to spot, elder abuse goes much deeper. Here are some indicators to watch for, if you suspect that someone you love is a victim of elder abuse. Christopher Stienburg, your Toronto Elder Abuse lawyer, can advise you on how to proceed:
- Changes in behaviour including anxiety, fear, and depression
- Injuries like bruises, scratches, sprains or broken bones
- Explanations for injuries that seem strange or unlikely
- Changes in social activity like missing weekly bingo or the movie night, social gatherings, or events previously enjoyed
- New ‘friends’ or family members unexpectedly moving in
- A stack of unopened mail, including unpaid bills and ‘Final Notices’ from utilities
- Broken or missing personal belongings, especially valuables like watches and jewelry
- Torn or ripped clothing, bruises on breasts or genitals, STD or sexually transmitted infections.
- Neglect can be the first sign of elder abuse. Signs include insufficient food, being left alone for a long time, or not receiving proper medical supplies, such as medication, or denial of assistive devices, such as canes or walkers. Signs can also include weight loss, injuries, minor infections, personality changes, emotional distress, and unsafe or unsanitary living conditions.
To learn more about elder abuse and how to stop it, the U.S. National Council on Aging has an excellent website.
Why I Practice Elder Abuse Law
My interest in elder law is related to my own experience as a caregiver to an elderly family member. I have first-hand experience of the problems that elderly experience in nursing homes.
I want to help the elderly and caregivers like myself navigate the many legal issues that this problem will create.
Do you have an elderly parent, relative, or friend who may be neglected or abused? Contact us.
Contact us at (416) 601-6801 or submit a callback request.
Let us know what you would like to discuss and we will call you back Monday to Friday between 9 AM and 5 PM once we have reviewed your situation.