With an aging population and a growing dependance on nursing homes to take care of the elderly, there is unfortunately a correlated increase in cases of reported elder abuse in Ontario.
If you know or suspect that your elderly loved one is being abused, your anger and outrage is justified. You have placed your trust in someone to take care of your family member and when that trust is broken, you want answers. An elder care attorney in Toronto will help you get those answers and ensure that your loved one is safe.
According to Ontario.ca any act or lack of action that causes harm or distress to a senior or risks their health or welfare can be defined as elder abuse. It can take place in the home, or in the community and can be caused by any number of people including:
CBC Marketplace launched a year long investigation into Ontario’s nursing homes called “Crying Out for Care” that found a disturbing trend. Violence in nursing homes is on the rise and cases of reported abuse between residents or by caregivers in long-term care facilities has more than doubled between 2011 and 2016.
If you believe your loved one is a victim of elder abuse it’s important to take action. A Toronto elder abuse lawyer will have the resources and experience to properly investigate your allegations and bring action against the appropriate parties.
Elder abuse in Ontario generally takes many forms including:
When you place the care of your loved one in the hands of a nursing home, or care providers you expect that they will be safe. Unfortunately that is not always the case and it’s important to monitor your loved one for any signs that they are being mistreated.
Some of the signs of physical abuse are more obvious such as – unexplained bruises and/ or lacerations, broken or fractured bones, sprains, unexplained welts, pressure marks, restraint marks, broken glasses, bleeding, bite marks, and other visible signs of trauma to the skin.
The signs of emotional abuse may be harder to discern, but be on the lookout for sudden changes in behaviour or mood, withdrawal from social activities, a change in the interactions between your loved one and their staff, or a staff not leaving you alone with your loved one and always remaining in close proximity during your visits.
Many of the same signs as physical and emotional abuse, along with sudden incontinence, or fear and/or discomfort in front of certain staff.
Signs of financial abuse can be tricky to detect as people who engage in this type of abuse are often very good at hiding it until it is too late. Things to watch out for include large unexplained cash withdrawals that your loved one doesn’t remember or can’t account for, sudden changes to the terms of their will or power of attorney, additional names being added to bank accounts, bills not being paid on time that should be, unwillingness to discuss finances suddenly, a caregiver taking an unusual interest in their finances, or a new and much younger friend developing a relationship with your loved one.
Signs of neglect can include a decline in appearance, lack of bathing and personal care, bedsores, unattended sores or lesions, sudden weight loss, incontinence, med errors, dehydration or malnutrition, and unsanitary living conditions.
Aside from the signs to look out for, clear and open communication can be key. Asking your loved one directly how they are, if they like where they are staying and how the staff treat them can often illicit pertinent information about abuse taking place.
If you have any reason at all to suspect your loved one is being abused in any way, a Toronto elder abuse lawyer will ensure that a thorough investigation takes place.
Community Legal Education Ontario reports that when the victim lives in a long term care facility or retirement home the law requires reporting by anybody that knows about or has reasonable grounds to suspect abuse. This excludes other residents.
If you believe that your loved one is being abused, physically, emotionally, sexually, or financially, or that they are being neglected – trust your gut and get in touch with Schiffmann Law today for a free no obligation consultation with our elder abuse attorneys. We will get you the answers you need, and do everything we can to ensure the safety of your loved one.
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