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Elder Abuse and Neglect What Volunteers Need to Know An introductory workshop for Boards of Directors of senior-serving organizations and volunteers who.

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Presentation on theme: "Elder Abuse and Neglect What Volunteers Need to Know An introductory workshop for Boards of Directors of senior-serving organizations and volunteers who."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Elder Abuse and Neglect What Volunteers Need to Know An introductory workshop for Boards of Directors of senior-serving organizations and volunteers who work with older adults in Alberta 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know1

3 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know2 PRESENTATION FUNDING Human Resources and Skills Development Canada – New Horizons for Seniors Program Federal Elder Abuse Initiative ALBERTA

4 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know3 CANADIAN CENTRE FOR ELDER LAW National non-profit Studies legal issues that concern older adults 1.Legal research 2.Law reform 3.Outreach 4.Legal education ALBERTA

5 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know4 NOT LEGAL ADVICE Information about resources and options Presenters are not necessarily lawyers If you need more information see the Resources Handout ALBERTA

6 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know5 LEARNING GOALS 1. What is elder abuse and neglect? 2. When and how should you respond? 3. How do you identify the best response? 4. Who to call for more information or to report abuse? ALBERTA

7 1 What is Elder Abuse and Neglect?

8 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know7 ELDER ABUSE 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. World Health Organization, 2002 ALBERTA

9 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know8 ELDER ABUSE Action: harming a person - ABUSE Not acting: not providing care or helping a person when a person should have - NEGLECT ALBERTA

10 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know9 MANY KINDS OF MISTREATMENT Physical Psychological Chemical Neglect Financial Sexual Spiritual Forced Confinement ALBERTA

11 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know10 PHYSICALHitting, slapping, punching, pushing Being rough Throwing objects ALBERTA

12 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know11 FINANCIALFrauds and scams Pressuring someone into giving money or property Improper use of power of attorney Identity theft ALBERTA

13 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know12 PSYCHOLOGICAL OR EMOTIONAL Causing mental suffering Yelling, intimidating Making threats Belittling, criticizing a person Harassment Doing things to frighten a person ALBERTA

14 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know13 SEXUALAny non-consensual sexual action Making unwanted sexual comments Doing anything sexual without permission Lewd gestures ALBERTA

15 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know14 CHEMICALOvermedicating a person Denying needed medication Substituting over-the-counter medication Making medication decisions without consulting the older person or the correct substitute decision-maker ALBERTA

16 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know15 SPIRITUALPreventing a person from practicing her or his faith Forcing a person to participate in a spiritual ritual or to practice a religion ALBERTA

17 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know16 FORCED CONFINEMENT Locking a person in a room Restraining a person Denying a person access to the phone or visitors 16 ALBERTA

18 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know17 NEGLECTDenying food or care Not giving proper care or assistance to someone who is dependent on you 17 ALBERTA

19 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know18 ELDER ABUSE AND NEGLECT Often the abuser is a loved one or person the older adult trusts Occurs at home and in care facilities – can happen anywhere Can be one incident or ongoing ALBERTA

20 2 When and How are you Required to Respond to Elder Abuse?

21 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know20 RESPONDING TO ABUSE AND NEGLECT 1.Talk to the older person 2.Help the person get support and assistance, refer to helpful agencies 3.Reporting abuse or neglect ALBERTA

22 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know21 QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER 1.Is the person in danger of harm? 2.Will money be stolen or spent? Property taken away? 3.Does the person appear to lack mental capacity? ALBERTA

23 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know22 ELDER ABUSE AND NEGLECT AND THE CRIMINAL LAW Some abusive acts are crimes Some acts might not be criminal even if very harmful Crimes can be reported to the police ALBERTA

24 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know23 PROTECTION FOR PERSONS IN CARE 1.Every person has a duty to report abuse or neglect of an adult receiving care or support 2.Includes adults receiving services in a home for older adults, hospital, mental health facility, nursing home, social care facility 3.Report abuse to the Protection for Persons in Care Office or to the Police 4.Failure to report is an offence 5.A person or service provider can be fined for not reporting concerns ALBERTA

25 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know24 LEGAL DEFINITION OF ABUSE “Means an act or omission… that: a)causes serious bodily harm, b)causes serious emotional harm, c)results in the administration, withholding or prescribing of medication for an inappropriate purpose, resulting in serious bodily harm, ALBERTA

26 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know25 LEGAL DEFINITION OF ABUSE d) subjects an individual to non-consensual sexual contact, activity or behaviour, e) involves misappropriating or improperly or illegally converting a significant amount of money or other valuable possessions, or f) results in failing to provide adequate nutrition, adequate medical attention or another necessity of life without a valid consent, resulting in serious bodily harm.” ALBERTA

27 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know26 ABUSE BY SUBSTITUTE DECISION-MAKER The Ministry for Seniors and Community Supports will investigate if a substitute decision-maker is: 1.Abusing an older adult, or 2.Making decisions that could result in harm to physical or mental health, or financial loss, for an adult. ALBERTA

28 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know27 ADULT PROTECTION Alberta does not have a law that requires people to respond to abuse or neglect of adults under other circumstances. ALBERTA

29 3 How do you Identify the Best Response?

30 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know29 GUIDELINES FOR RESPONDING TO ABUSE AND NEGLECT 1. Talk to the older adult Ask questions.Talk to the older person about his or her experience. Help the person to identify resources that could be helpful. ALBERTA

31 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know30 GUIDELINES FOR RESPONDING TO ABUSE AND NEGLECT 2. Respect personal values Respect the personal values, priorities, goals and lifestyle choices of an older adult. Identify support networks and solutions that suit the older adult’s individuality. ALBERTA

32 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know31 GUIDELINES FOR RESPONDING TO ABUSE AND NEGLECT 3. Recognize the right to make decisions Mentally capable older adults have the right to make decisions, including choices others might consider risky or unwise. ALBERTA

33 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know32 GUIDELINES FOR RESPONDING TO ABUSE AND NEGLECT 4. Seek consent or permission In most situations, you should get consent from an older adult before taking action. ALBERTA

34 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know33 GUIDELINES FOR RESPONDING TO ABUSE AND NEGLECT 5. Respect confidentiality and privacy rights Get consent before sharing another person’s private information, including confidential personal or health information. ALBERTA

35 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know34 GUIDELINES FOR RESPONDING TO ABUSE AND NEGLECT 6. Avoid ageism Prevent ageist assumptions or discriminatory thinking based on age from affecting your judgment. Avoid stereotypes about older people and show respect for the inherent dignity of all human beings, regardless of age. ALBERTA

36 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know35 GUIDELINES FOR RESPONDING TO ABUSE AND NEGLECT 7.Recognize the value of independence and autonomy Where this is consistent with the adult’s wishes, assist the adult to identify the least intrusive way to access support or assistance. ALBERTA

37 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know36 GUIDELINES FOR RESPONDING TO ABUSE AND NEGLECT 8.Know that abuse and neglect can happen anywhere and by anyone Abuse and neglect of older adults can occur in a variety of circumstances from home care to family violence. ALBERTA

38 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know37 GUIDELINES FOR RESPONDING TO ABUSE AND NEGLECT 9. Respect rights An appropriate response to abuse, neglect, or risk of abuse or neglect should respect the legal rights of the older adult, while addressing the need for support, assistance, or protection in practical ways. ALBERTA

39 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know38 GUIDELINES FOR RESPONDING TO ABUSE AND NEGLECT 10. Get informed Ignorance of the law is not an excuse for inaction when someone’s safety is at stake. If you volunteer with older adults you need to educate yourself about elder abuse. ALBERTA

40 4 Who to call for more Information or to Respond to Concerns about Abuse?

41 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know40 RESOURCES 1.Urgent assistance 2.Reporting abuse and neglect 3.Legal advice 4.Counseling and victim assistance 5.More information about elder abuse ALBERTA

42 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know41 URGENT ASSISTANCE 1.Call if an older person is in danger and it is an emergency 2.Call the police to report a crime 3.The police can require an abusive person to stay away from a victim ALBERTA

43 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know42 REPORTING ABUSE Call the Protection for Persons in Care Office to report abuse or neglect of an adult who is receiving care or services. ALBERTA

44 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know43 PUBLIC GUARDIAN 1.Call the Public Guardian if you suspect financial or other abuse by a substitute decision-maker. 2.The Public Guardian will investigate abuse and can act to protect money and property. ALBERTA

45 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know44 LEGAL ADVICE Refer older adults to the Kerby Centre Information and Advocacy Line if they need legal advice. ALBERTA

46 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know45 VICTIM ASSISTANCE There are a number of agencies that offer crisis counseling It can be helpful to give a person a number they can call for free confidential support ALBERTA

47 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know46 MORE INFORMATION A Practical Guide to Elder Abuse and Neglect Law in Canada (2010) By the Canadian Centre for Elder Law Available online for free in English and French ALBERTA

48 4/26/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know47 REVIEW 1.Know the organizations in your community where you can refer adults for further support or assistance. 2.Be aware of reporting obligations. 3.Respect privacy and confidentiality. 4.Consult a supervisor when you are not sure how to respond. ALBERTA

49 Canadian Centre for Elder Law


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