The World Health Organization defines elder abuse as “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person”. Elder abuse can take various forms such as physical, psychological or emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. It can be intentional or unintentional.
You might be abused while living in your own private home, in the home of a family member, or in a care home. Your abuser might be a loved one (spouse, son or daughter, family member), a caregiver (nurse, caretaker, volunteer), or even a person in authority that you trust (lawyer, doctor, banker).
Seniors who experience abuse might have challenges and concerns including:
- Shame or embarrassment. You have lived your entire life with independence and control until now.
- Finding a care-giver. You depend on your abuser for care and support.
Leaving your home. You may not want to leave the home you have lived in your entire life. Your abuser may threaten to “put you in a home”.
- Grandchildren. You worry you will be denied access to your grandchildren if you speak out.
- Finances. You have become financially dependent on your abuser or you are on a fixed income.
- Medications. You are being over medicated or under medicated so your abuser can have more control over you. The abuser may be stealing your medications.
- Isolation. You are being prevented from seeing or contactingyour friends or trusted family members. Your abuser may insist on being with you when you visit your doctor or the bank.
- Neglect. You may not be receiving enough food, water, medication, clothing, personal care or may not have access to assistive aids that you need.
- Health. You may have health conditions that affect your mental or physical ability and be more vulnerable to abuse.
WHO to Contact
Saskatoon Council on Aging
Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism
Lifelong Learning Centre (Regina)
Seniors Legal Assistance Panel Program
Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse
RCMP Victim Services
RCMP Detachments – check your local phone book or go to
Mobile Crisis Services Regina
Saskatoon Crisis Intervention Service
Prince Albert Mobile Crisis Unit