• Roy W Digital Manager

It can be hard to fathom that anyone would deliberately harm an elderly person however, elder abuse is more common than you might think.

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse takes on many forms and does not necessarily mean physically. Elder abuse is an action by someone in a relationship of trust that results in harm or distress to an older person. The lack of taking action by a person in a relationship of trust is also considered elder abuse.

Elder abuse has no borders and can happen anywhere including care home facilities, at home and in the general public.


Elder abuse comes in two main forms:

Active Abuse: is the failure of a caregiver or another in a position of power who intentionally takes action or purposely does not take action for the benefit of themselves.

Passive Abuse: is the failure of a caregiver or another to full-fill their caregiving responsibilities.


Whether active or passive both forms of abuse affect the daily lives of seniors in a negative way. There are no excuses for either, both have legal implications and neither is better or worse.


Some of the most recognized types of elder abuse include:

  • Financial

  • Sexual & Physical

  • Abandonment

  • Neglect

  • Self Neglect

Regardless of type, elder abuse can have devastating consequences, including serious physical injuries, emotional suffering, financial loss and even death. Often where there is abuse, there is more than one type of abuse happening.


Some potential signs

Financial abuse

Financial abuse limits an older person's resources, choices and options by using money or property without permission or in a fraudulent manner.

Some examples are:

  • A family member or significant other who repeatedly pressures an elderly person for money or borrows money, but never pays it back.

  • A family member who sells a parent's house or other property and then uses the money for their own benefit.

  • Adult children who use a parent's pension and then makes the parent ask them for money

  • Any person who misuses a power of attorney

  • A person who forces or tricks a senior into signing or changing documents such as wills or contracts.

Physical or Sexual Abuse

Physical abuse can include but not be limited to unnecessary touching that makes someone feel uncomfortable, unnecessary touching to someone who is not able to communicate what is making them feel uncomfortable, striking, hitting, pushing, shaking, burning, shoving, inappropriate physical or chemical restraints and harm created by over or under medicating.


Abandonment or Neglect

The inability or purposely neglecting to provide basic or personal care needs to an elderly person by a person who is in a position of trust.

Basic necessities include:

  • Food

  • Water

  • Required medications

  • Shelter

  • Hygiene

  • Clothing

  • Physical aids

  • Hearing aids

  • Eyeglasses

  • Dentures

  • Exercise

  • Stimulus

  • Adequate safety precautions

  • Withholding medical services or treatments

Self Neglect

While many might be able to spot neglect or abuse of their loved ones, it might not be so easy when it comes to self-neglect. Self-neglect can be hard to spot and when they do we can feel powerless. It is important to keep in mind that seniors who behave this way are sometimes not in complete control of their actions, especially if they are experiencing cognitive difficulties and decline. In fact, self-neglect is how "some" caregivers realize that something may be wrong with their loved one's cognitive health. Self-neglect happens when seniors do not complete their daily activities of daily living on their own or resist assistance to complete their daily needs.

Some signs of self-neglect are:

  • Unpaid bills

  • Not taking medications

  • Unkept appearance (dirty clothing)

  • Lack of hygiene or bathing

  • Not keeping medical appointments

  • Lack of social contact

  • Living in un-fit living conditions: cleanliness and safety in particular.

If you feel that your loved one is experiencing cognitive difficulties and decline, seeking outside help is highly advised. Seek help from a medical professional, community resources or consider a professional caregiver.



What should I do if I suspect elder abuse?

  1. Anytime you feel that someone is in immediate danger call 911.

  2. Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL), The Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL) is a safe, confidential place for older adults and those who care about them to talk to someone about situations where they feel they are being abused or mistreated or to receive information about elder abuse prevention. Call toll-free from Victoria or anywhere in BC 1-866-437-1940.

  3. If someone is abusing or neglecting you or someone you know, you can call VictimLink BC. VictimLink BC is a confidential telephone service available across B.C. 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Toll-free: 1-800-563-0808

  4. More resources can be found by visiting the Government of BC website.

 

Did you know that having respite care for your loved one can reduce overwhelming any family caregiver? Stress is a major contributor to passive or unintentional abuse. Having regular respite care allows you to take a break and be a better caregiver for your loved one. Respite care also can help your loved one live a longer and happier life. For more information feel free to contact Pacific Coast Health Services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - 365 days a year to book a free in-home healthcare assessment in Victoria and Nanaimo. Call (250) 389-0202 or Email tjohnson@pchservices.ca.


 


  • Roy W Digital Manager



Full Job Description

Are you a professional, positive, and attentive caregiver who has a flexible schedule and a passion for helping others in the community? Pacific Coast Health Services is currently looking for casual Live-in Caregivers to serve the Victoria area. You must have previous experience in health care or with providing supportive assistance to someone in need. Position Summary: Our team feels a sense of enjoyment and happiness from helping other people who truly need it. As a Live-in Caregiver at Pacific Coast, you will work in our clients’ homes helping them to live their lives. Live-in Caregiver shifts are 24 hour shifts with a 2 hour break, and shifts can be from 1 to 5 per week as employee chooses. The Caregiver will eat and sleep at the client's home.

Key Responsibilities: Light housekeeping

  • Personal care, dressing, grooming

  • Assistance in the bathroom, shower

  • Meal preparation

  • Assistance with feeding

  • Companionship

  • Possibly accompany client to appointments

. *May also receive additional training from Pacific Coast to provide:

  • Medication assistance

  • Lifts and transfers

  • Special care needs

. About You:

  • You have experience caring for someone at home or in a facility

  • Certification in CPR or First Aid is an asset

  • A certification, or health related degree, from BC or another province or country is also an asset

  • You have the ability to obtain a Clear Criminal Record Check with a Vulnerable Sector Search upon hire

  • You can provide two references who will tell us you are reliable, punctual, and committed

  • You have a caring, helpful attitude and you are a positive, team player

  • You have a reliable vehicle and cell phone

  • You agree to comply with all vaccination requirements that apply to our agency via Public Health Officer Order or contract

. Pacific Coast offers a competitive compensation package and scheduling flexibility. Our team is supportive and friendly. Pacific Coast was a finalist in the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 Business Awards for Outstanding Workplace of the Year! EOE. Due to the high volume of applicants, you will only be contacted if selected for an interview. Job Types: Full-time, Part-time, Casual Salary: $275.00 per day Benefits:

  • Company events

  • Dental care

  • Discounted or free food

  • Employee assistance program

  • Extended health care

  • Flexible schedule

  • Life insurance

  • Vision care

COVID-19 considerations: Pacific Coast's management team constantly monitors the COVID-19 guidelines from the BCCDC and the Government of Canada to assure that our policies are up to date. Keeping our clients and staff safe is our highest priority!

𝙋𝙖𝙧𝙩 𝙤𝙣𝙚: 𝗧𝗲𝗰𝗵𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗴𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗮𝘂𝗱

Canada’s ageing population continues to grow and so does the vulnerability of seniors being victims of financial fraud.

Why are seniors targeted for fraud?

Generally speaking, victims who become the targets of scams are considered to be in the vulnerable segments of the population. Elderly individuals are some of our most vulnerable and unfortunately are frequent targets of fraud scams.


Some contributing factors:

  • May have a nest egg such as a retirement saving or access to credit earned

  • Seniors may less likely to report fraud because they are ashamed at being scammed, don't know they have been scammed or do not know how or who to report to that they have been taken advantage of. Elderly victims may not report financial crimes due to worries that relatives may believe they have the mental capacity to take care of their financial affairs.

  • Loneliness

  • Learning new technologies and their terminology

  • Vulnerable persons may be more susceptible to products or services promising increased cognitive function, physical conditioning, health remedies and solutions to problems that may not actually exist.

  • Temporary or permanent Health Conditions

Technology Fraud

While traditionally fraud schemes against the elderly have been done over the telephone or through door-to-door sales, times have changed with all the new technology that is available. From computers and tablets to applications and smartphones the elderly are prime targets to schemes attributed to online transactions including memberships or subscriptions, banking scams, investments, contests, romance schemes & the list continues to grow.


Technology scams & online membership trials


Scheme Scenario 1:

Receive a call claiming you have won a vacation or qualify for a discounted rate for a vacation.

In these instances, fraudsters offer free or discounted vacations using legitimate company names, such as Expedia, Air Canada or WestJet. You get a cold call congratulating you for having won a contest that you do not remember entering or you might be told that as a preferred customer, you have been given a discount on a destination vacation—as long as you book right away. Only to find out that you need to provide a credit card to secure your spot or guarantee the vacation. In some instances the scammer asks for a nominal fee to obtain your personal information


The old saying "if it's too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true" is an old and trusted phrase that we can lean on. When receiving unsolicited phone calls about contests, discounts and special offers it is always best to exercise on the side of caution by not disclosing any personal information and hang up the phone.


Scheme Scenario 2:

Trial memberships

Are Trial Memberships Really Free? Yes, and no! High-pressure tactics such as putting time limits on free offers put vulnerable people at the risk of making impulsive decisions. Most free trial offers come with fine print buried somewhere on a website, application or somewhere electronically that does not give a fair opportunity to view and evaluate the risks.

Always look for the TOS or Terms of Service agreement located within the offer. If there isn't one or you can't find it, best to avoid signing up.

When you do find the TOS keep your eyes peeled for the following information that might be helpful.

1. How long is the trial for?

2. What potential charges happen during or after the trial expires.

3. How frequent will you be charged.

3. Do you have to purchase something prior, during or after to get the free membership?

3. How do you cancel?

4. What if any penalties exist for cancellation?

5. Do they have a privacy policy?


Are free applications really free? Yes, and no!

Some use high-pressure techniques like time limits to speed up the transaction process.

Trap Online purchase scam reports include a large number of so-called free trial offers. Many free trial offers come with fine print buried on the order page or behind a link that gives consumers only a short period of time to receive, evaluate, and return the product to avoid being charged. In addition, the same hidden information may state that by accepting the free trial offer, the consumer is signing up for monthly shipments of the products and that fees will be charged to their credit card. Many people find it difficult to contact the seller to stop recurring charges, halt shipments, and get refunds. When ordering online, don’t click too fast. Review the order form. Look for pre-checked boxes. You may be giving permission to send more products that you’ll have to pay for if you don’t cancel, or you may be agreeing to a strict cancellation policy and not know it. This is can happen with contests, charities, health products, banking and credit cards and membership trials.


Scheme Scenario 3:

Romance

Thanks to online dating scams, each year thousands of Canadians who are searching for love end up with nothing but a broken heart and an empty wallet.

Online dating and social media sites have become increasingly popular tools to find love and friendship. Unfortunately where there is opportunity there is a romance scammer. These con artists create fake profiles to lure in victims, establish romantic relationships and eventually, extort money.

Romance scammers are experts in sound very convincing and are masters at social manipulation. Some signs may be subtle because they are trying to build your trust. Others may be more obvious and direct. To avoid online dating scams, be on the lookout for these four red flags when you’re getting to know someone online:

  1. Bragging or obsessively boasting about how much money or materialistic things they have. This can be an open door to building the belief that the scammer is stable and financially responsible. Ultimately attempting to close your mind to any sort of scam

  2. Quick love seems to be a common behaviour of online scammers. Often times, the first sign of an online dating scam shows up when a romance scammer expresses strong emotions in a relatively short period of time. They may even say that they’re in love with you, but it’s a tactic they’re using to get you to give up personal details and answers to the security questions that you use to lock down your accounts across the Internet. Guard your personal information carefully, and be wary if a new love interest asks for personal details soon after contact.

  3. Sudden emergencies that require financial assistance is also a common practice for online romance scammers. We could write a book just on the excuses but it comes down to not giving out any money!


Scheme Scenario 4

Phone calls from revenue Canada or the Government of Canada

  1. Calls to seniors to make the claim that Revenue Canada has a refund for you.

  2. or.....making the claim that you owe Revenue Canada money and if you do not pay you risk being charged.

It is a sad reality now that any calls from Government need to be followed up on. The best way is to to ask to ensure that you really are talking to the government is to ask for a number that you can call back on. If the number is not registered to the Government of Canada it is likely a scammer. The best thing to do is to block the number.



 

Are you a senior who needs support services at home? Pacific Coast Health Services provides a wide range of support services for seniors in Victoria B.C and Nanaimo, B.C.


Visit our services section


or


Call our 24/7 care line at (250) 389-0202 for more information.








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