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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 the Northwest Territories 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know1

3 5/4/2015Elder 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

4 5/4/2015Elder 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

5 5/4/2015Elder 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

6 5/4/2015Elder 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? NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

7 1 What is Elder Abuse and Neglect?

8 5/4/2015Elder 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

9 5/4/2015Elder 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

10 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know9 MANY KINDS OF MISTREATMENT Physical Psychological Chemical Neglect Financial Sexual Spiritual Forced Confinement NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

11 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know10 PHYSICALHitting, slapping, punching, pushing Being rough Throwing objects NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

12 5/4/2015Elder 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

13 5/4/2015Elder 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

14 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know13 SEXUALAny non-consensual sexual action Making unwanted sexual comments Doing anything sexual without permission Lewd gestures NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

15 5/4/2015Elder 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

16 5/4/2015Elder 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

17 5/4/2015Elder 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

18 5/4/2015Elder 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

19 5/4/2015Elder 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

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

21 5/4/2015Elder 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

22 5/4/2015Elder 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? NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

23 5/4/2015Elder 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

24 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know23 ADULT PROTECTION The Northwest Territories does not have a law that requires people to respond to abuse or neglect of older adults. NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

25 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know24 PROTECTION FOR VICTIMS OF ELDER ABUSE 1.The territory has a domestic violence law. 2.This law makes it possible to get a court protection order for an older adult who is a victim of family violence. 3.The victim, a police officer, or a victim service worker can apply for an order. NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

26 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know25 PROTECTION FOR VICTIMS OF ELDER ABUSE The law covers abuse of older adults by: Spouse or former spouse Some members of the abuser’s family Or any person the older adult: Lives with, or used to live with, in a family or intimate relationship Had a child with NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

27 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know26 LEGAL DEFINITION OF ABUSE Definition includes: Intentional or reckless acts or omissions causing harm or damage to property Threatened acts that cause fear Sexual abuse NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

28 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know27 LEGAL DEFINITION OF ABUSE Definition includes: Forced confinement Psychological abuse Financial abuse that causes harm or fear NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

29 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know28 COURT PROTECTION ORDERS A court protection order can include: No contact order Exclusive right to live in the family home Order for the police to remove the abusive person from the home Order to surrender guns or weapons Monetary compensation to a victim Counseling for the abuser NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

30 3 How do you Identify the Best Response?

31 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know30 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. NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

32 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know31 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. NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

33 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know32 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. NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

34 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know33 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. NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

35 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know34 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. NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

36 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know35 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. NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

37 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know36 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. NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

38 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know37 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. NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

39 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know38 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. NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

40 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know39 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. NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

41 4 Who to call for more Information or to Respond to Concerns about Abuse?

42 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know41 RESOURCES 1.Urgent assistance 2.Reporting abuse and neglect 3.Legal advice 4.Counseling and victim assistance 5.More information about elder abuse NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

43 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know42 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

44 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know43 REPORTING ABUSE There is no agency responsible for accepting reports of elder abuse and neglect You can contact the Northwest Territories Seniors’ Society Information Line if you have concerns about an older adult NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

45 5/4/2015Elder Abuse and Neglect: What Volunteers Need to Know44 LEGAL ADVICE Refer older adults to the Victim Services Program if they need a referral for legal advice or assistance. NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

46 5/4/2015Elder 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

47 5/4/2015Elder 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 NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

48 5/4/2015Elder 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. NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

49 Canadian Centre for Elder Law


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