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Dare to Act Against Elder Mistreatment

The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) and its partners call on the vigilance of seniors to prevent potential mistreatment during this pandemic period. The SPVM and its partners also ask the relatives and neighbours of seniors to keep a watchful eye on them. With the COVID-19 crisis, seniors can be deprived of their usual support network.

The risks of mistreatment and fraud are very real and we should all be concerned. “Elder abuse is 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.”[1] Elder mistreatment can be of various forms: physical, psychological, sexual, material, financial or a violation of rights.

Be on the lookout for signs that could reveal a situation of mistreatment such as:

  • unexplainable injuries;
  • weight loss;
  • lack of hygiene;
  • change in behaviour;
  • signs of depression;
  • increase in the number of banking transactions;
  • disappearance of valuables.

As seniors, do not hesitate to assert your right to:

  • physical and psychological safety;
  • respect;
  • make your own decisions;
  • do with your money and goods as you see fit;
  • receive the care and services you need.

We all have rights, regardless of our age, sex, origin or sexual orientation.

As parents, relatives and neighbours of seniors or caregivers, the SPVM and its partners invite you to:

  • Regularly check up on the seniors in your life;
  • Do not hesitate to call 911 when it is not possible to reach a senior or the manager of the establishment where they live, and the safety of this person worries you.

There are resources available to you!

If the situation is not urgent, call the Elder Mistreatment Helpline if you are a senior and you are being mistreated or if you are a family member, a friend, a neighbour or a social worker in contact with a senior who is being mistreated.

Elder Mistreatment Helpline (Ligne Aide Abus Aînés)
1 888 489-ABUS (2287)
Anonymous, confidential and free service
Available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily

In case of emergency

  • Dial 911.

If you experience abuse and find it difficult to call 911 or contact a help resource:

  • Get out of the house so other people can see you, unless you are safer inside.
  • Shout, tell your neighbours to call the police.

Together we must dare to act against elder mistreatment.

To find out more +

SPVM, Seniors Zone: spvm.qc.ca
SPVM : Ressources d’aide (in French only)
TCAIM: Special newsletter
Gouvernement du Québec: Mistreatment of older adults
Gouvernement du Québec: Quebec.ca/coronavirus

[1] Gouvernement du Québec, 2019. This definition is an excerpt from The Toronto Declaration on the Global Prevention of Elder Abuse, World Health Organization, to which the concept of intention has been added.