Catholic Family Services of Peel-Dufferin
Peel Elder Abuse Support Program
If you are experiencing any form of elder abuse or suspect someone you know is being victimized, call:
905-459-7777 (Brampton & Mississauga)
The Peel Elder Abuse Support Program is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The Peel Elder Abuse Support Program provides telephone support and information 24/7 to seniors or anyone in the community experiencing elder abuse, or for anyone who knows someone who is being mistreated. When deemed appropriate, and with client consent, Spectra will connect clients to a Family Services of Peel outreach worker. Together Spectra Helpline and Family Services of Peel are working to promote awareness, discontinue elder abuse, and to keep people safe.
Everyone in our community deserves to feel safe, live with dignity, and be treated with respect.
What is Elder Abuse
Elder Abuse is defined as: “Single or repeated acts, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.” (World Health Organization, 2002).
The abuser may be a family member, friend, neighbour, or someone providing personal care or professional care giving services.
Signs and Symptoms of Elder Abuse
Suspicious or unexplained fractures, bruises, injuries
Poor hygiene, bedsores
Anxiety, depression, fear
Malnutrition or dehydration
Unpaid bills or missing property without explanations
Types of Abuse
Pushing, hitting, slapping or shaking
Giving too much or too little medicine(s)
Keeping a person confined for long periods of time (for example: locked in a room; placed in a wheelchair)
Unwanted sexual acts
Not meeting spiritual needs
(for example: not letting a person attend a place of worship)
Yelling or bullying
Isolating a person from family and/or friends
Threatening a person or their family, friends or pets
Misuse of Power of Attorney
Stealing or misusing money, cheques or property
Pressuring a person to change a Will, or sell property, other assets or personal belongings
Being pressured to loan money
Fraud, forgery, or extortion
Failing to provide enough food, shelter, medical care, clothing, or physical aids (for example: hearing aids; glasses)
Treating a person with silence or ignoring them
Leaving a person alone without supervision
Failing to keep a person safe
Elder Abuse Prevention
If you are a senior…
Stay active within your community
Keep in regular contact with friends and family
Know your rights
Plan ahead and make your wishes known
Ensure your legal and financial matters are in order
If you know a senior…
Encourage them to ask for support and assistance when required
Give them the opportunity to talk about mistreatment or abuse
Educate yourself about the different types of abuse
Always treat seniors with respect
Elder Abuse Protocol
To Ensure there is a Coordinated Community Response to Dealing Effectively with Elder Abuse Cases in Peel Region.
For helping older adults 60+ years of age dealing with abuse with exceptions for individuals with signs of accelerated aging, living in Mississauga, Brampton or Caledon.
Definition of Elder Abuse
Elder Abuse is defined as “any action, or deliberate inaction, by a person in a position of trust which causes harm to an older person. The abuser can be a spouse, child, family member, friend or paid caregiver.” (World Health Organization, 2002). The various types of Elder Abuse include: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, spiritual abuse, financial abuse, systemic abuse and neglect.
About 10% or nearly 160,000 of the 1.6 million seniors 65+ living in Ontario are experiencing elder abuse. (Source: Elder Abuse Ontario website, 2014). In Peel region, of the approximate 130,000 seniors, this translates into 13,000 seniors that are dealing with some form of elder abuse. In Ontario, the provincial Senior Safety Line receives on average 600 calls per month from seniors dealing with abuse or a concerned family member, neighbour or caregiver. About 150 of these calls are from the 905 area code, which includes Peel region – one of the largest regional municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area.
The Peel Elder Abuse Support Program, jointly operated by Family Services of Peel and Spectra Helpline, has received 1,600+ calls since inception in 2007. It has served 500+ clients to date. There were 485 cases reported by the PEAPN membership in 2013. Peel Regional Police had 54 cases of elder abuse reported in 2013, a 75% increase from 2012 – 20 cases were financial abuse related and 15 cases resulted in criminal charges being laid. The numbers are very similar for 2014 with 464 cases reported by our membership for the year.
Elder Abuse is an under-reported and often undetected social issue. As PEAPN continues to raise public awareness, it is anticipated more cases will surface thereby producing a need for a coordinated community response to this growing problem.
Client autonomy – the right to determine/direct their affairs to full extent of their ability. Also includes the right to live at risk and right to self-determination unless the client is in imminent danger.
Client safety – right to live in a safe environment free from abuse.
Client dignity and respect – the right to have their privacy, dignity, interests, lifestyle, personal choices, cultural and religious beliefs respected and valued.
Client access to information – the client has the right to access the information necessary to make meaningful and informed choices.
Client confidentiality – the client has the right to confidentiality and information about their situation should only be shared with other professionals only as it relates to providing services to the client, and if authorized by the client to do so.
The least restrictive means: interventions and service delivery to the vulnerable senior should be the least restrictive of the client’s rights, abilities and personal liberties, and least disruptive to their lifestyle.
A non-judgmental and inclusive approach will be taken to support the client at all times, including the need to be aware of, and sensitive to cultural, linguistic and systemic concerns.
PEAPN is comprised of 40+ organizations and businesses that have the knowledge of resources to respond to elder abuse and take appropriate action. All member agencies are committed to being accountable for the services they provide, and to supporting seniors dealing with personal issues.
PEAPN members recognize the importance of timely and effective service. However, there can be circumstances when a client’s needs cannot be adequately met by a service provider, or by multiple service providers. Should a client feel that their problem was not dealt with in a satisfactory manner by a member organization, the client has the right to file a complaint with the respective agency in accordance with the agency’s established policies and procedures. If the client’s complaint involves more than one organization, a complaint can be filed with each of the organization’s involved and/or through the PEAPN website. A written response will be provided to the client within thirty (30) days of the complaint being filed.
Catholic Family Services of Peel-Dufferin:
Safe Housing Program
The Safe Housing Program is a collaboration with key PEAPN members to provide 7-day emergency housing and support for a senior in crisis fleeing an abusive home.
The Safe Housing Program has been generously funded by the Region of Peel and will be launched June 2016. For more details, please contact us at email@example.com or 905-450-1608 ext. 175
Scams and Fraud Prevention
"SCAMS WOW” – Common Scams and Fraud
“SCAMS WOW 2” – Financial Abuse and More Scams
"SCAMS WOW 3” – Internet and Romance Scams
We need your support!
Please make a donation by clicking on the “Donate Now” button at the top of your screen. Your donation will help continue PEAPN’s work in raising awareness on the types of fraud and scams that target seniors.
Thank you for your generous support!
EMERGENCY SCAMS/GRANDPARENT SCAM
Emergency scams target grandparents and play upon their emotions to rob them of their money.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
In the typical scenario of an emergency scam, a grandparent receives a phone call from a scammer claiming to be one of his or her grandchildren. Callers go on to say that they are in some kind of trouble and need money immediately. They claim to have been in a car accident, are having trouble returning from a foreign country or they need bail money.
You may get a call from two people, one pretending to be your grandchild and the other pretending to be either a police officer or a lawyer. Your “grandchild” asks you questions during the call, getting you to volunteer personal information. Callers say that they don’t want other family members to find out what has happened. You will be asked to wire some money through a money transfer company. Often, victims don’t verify the story until after the money has been sent.
In some cases, scammers pretend to be your old neighbour or a friend of the family, but for the most part, the emergency scam is directed at grandparents.
Remember: Scammers are counting on the fact that you will want to act quickly to help your loved ones in an emergency. Caution: Never send money to anyone you don’t know and trust. Verify the person’s identity before you take any steps to help. Think: Don’t give out any personal information to the caller. Investigate: Ask the person questions that only your loved one would be able to answer. Call the child’s parents or friends to verify the story. Ask yourself: Does the caller’s story make sense?
Many Canadians are being targeted by individuals claiming to offer reduced rates or deals for various services.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
These scams typically involve individuals that make offers for telecommunications, Internet, finance, medical and energy services. This category of scams may also include offers such as extended warranties, insurance, and door-to-door sales.
The two most reported service scams targeting Canadians are the antivirus software scam and credit card interest rate reduction scams.
The scammers involved in the antivirus software scam promise to repair your computer over the Internet. This can involve the installation of software or permission to have remote access to your computer. Payment for the software or repair is typically made by credit card.
Downloading software from an unknown source or allowing someone to remotely access your computer is risky. Scammers could use malicious software to capture your personal information such as user names and passwords, bank account information, identity information, etc.
Everyone likes to get a deal and scammers know this. The people behind credit card interest rate reduction scams often impersonate financial institutions and claim to negotiate with credit card companies to lower your interest rates. They guarantee they can save you thousands of dollars in interest. The caller will tell you that the lower interest rates are for a limited time only and that you need to act now.
You might receive an automated call, prompting you to “press 1” and provide personal information, such as your date of birth and credit card number. You will also be asked to pay a fee up front for the service. The scammers will use this information to make purchases on your credit card or to access cash advances.
Remember: Only your service provider can offer you a better rate or price for their services. Caution: Be wary of unsolicited calls from people offering a great deal “for a limited time only”. Think: Don’t give out your credit card number over the phone unless you made the call and the number came from a trusted source. Investigate: If a caller claims to represent your bank, telephone your bank to ask whether the offer you received is genuine. Ask yourself: By offering up this information, am I putting myself at risk?
LOTTERIES, SWEEPSTAKES, AND CONTESTS
Many Canadians are lured by the excitement of a surprise win and find themselves sending huge amounts of money to claim fake prizes.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
You cannot win money or a prize in a lottery unless you have entered it yourself, or someone else has entered it on your behalf. You cannot be chosen as a random winner if you don’t have an entry.
Many lottery scams try to trick you into providing your banking and personal details to claim your prize. You should not have to pay any fee or tax to claim a legitimate prize.
Don’t be fooled by claims that the offer is legal or has government approval—many scammers will tell you this. Instead of receiving a grand prize or fortune, you will lose every cent that you send to a scammer. And if you have provided other personal details, your identity could be misused too.
A fake prize scam will tell you that you have won a prize or a contest. You may receive a phone call, an email, a text message or see a pop-up screen on your computer. There are often costs involved with claiming your prize, and even if you do receive a prize, it may not be what was promised to you.
The scammers make their money by making you pay fees or taxes, call their premium rate phone numbers or send premium text messages to claim your prize. These premium rate calls can be very expensive, and the scammers will try to keep you on the line for a long time or ask you to call a different premium rate number.
Remember: Legitimate lotteries do not require you to pay a fee or tax to collect winnings. Caution: Never send money to anybody you don’t know and trust. Think: Don’t provide personal banking details to anyone that you do not know and trust. Investigate: Examine all of the terms and conditions of any offer very carefully—claims of free or very cheap offers often have hidden costs. Calls to premium rate phone numbers or premium text messages can be very expensive. Ask yourself: Did I enter this contest? You cannot win money or a prize in a contest unless you have entered it yourself, or someone else has entered it on your behalf.
PEAPN is pleased to come to your organization or business to speak on a variety of topics related to healthy aging and elder abuse prevention. We can customize a workshop or presentation based on your needs.
Topics we present on include:
Elder abuse prevention
Financial abuse and understanding Powers of Attorney
Fraud and scams prevention
Healthy & active aging
Navigating care options in Peel
Please download and complete our form to request a speaker and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax at 905-450-8902. Thank You!
BrainXchange: How Caregivers can Navigate the Health & Social Care System
The brainXchange is a network of people dedicated to improving quality of life and supports for persons with or at risk of having brain-health needs related to dementia, mental health and neurological conditions related to aging or have experienced brain health changes earlier in life that are now more complex with aging.
This booklet can help you understand your rights as a resident of a long-term care home.
Private Pay Personal Support Workers
Here is a list of private personal support, respite care, and home support resources if you are unable to access CCAC. These agencies are available in Brampton, Caledon, and Malton.
Homeless and Shelter Services
This tool helps individuals easily access emergency shelters and supports. After providing a few details about themselves, the individual is immediately directed to an appropriate shelter (i.e., for families, single females and couples, youth, or single males 16 years and older).