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Crime prevention or reduction

Some older adults are particularly vulnerable to becoming victims of crime, while the issue of elder abuse (whether physical, or emotional, or due to neglect) is increasingly considered a challenge. Find the latest evidence on crime prevention/reduction in our resources below.

How do older adults perceive abuse?
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Older adults increasingly targeted by fraud and scams
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Are you a victim of abuse?
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  • Evidence Summary

    Financial fraud and scams among older adults is a serious concern

    American Journal of Public Health (2017)
  • Evidence Summary

    Towards a best-practice guideline to prevent abuse and neglect of older adults

    Canadian Journal on Aging (2016)
  • Web Resource Rating

    Problem gambling and crime and its costs

    Gambling Research Exchange Ontario (GREO)
    Gambling addiction can lead to crime, which is costly for the justice system. People with gambling problems and people doing crimes have shared risk factors. View this resource for policy proposals for reducing gambling crime.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Environment

    Gambling Research Exchange Ontario (GREO)
    Having easy access to gambling venues can make you more likely to develop gambling problems. If gambling is socially acceptable in your environment or venues are attractive you might be additionally at risk. Read the resource for more information on environmental factors that affect your risk of developing gambling problems.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Venue/casino

    Gambling Research Exchange Ontario (GREO)
    Gambling harm is more common in areas closer to land-based gambling venues. Environmental factors can greatly influence problem gambling. Read this resource for information on the effect of casinos on the proximal community.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Elder abuse

    Better Health Channel
    Elder abuse is a very serious problem that affects seniors of all ages, gender and ethnicities. It can manifest in the form of physical, financial, sexual or psychological abuse. Seniors are usually hesitant to seeking help therefore it is important to notice the signs and report any type of malicious behaviour.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Your Money, Your Goals – Overcoming Barriers Through Financial Empowerment

    National Council on Aging (US)
    This resource describes the barriers that seniors face when making financial decisions such as financial abuse, economic barriers and minority challenges. Learn how the National Indian Council on Aging is helping elders overcome these barriers.
  • Web Resource Rating

    spot the difference: learn to recognize elder abuse bullying and frauds and scams

    Government of Alberta
    Learn about the difference between elder abuse, bullying and frauds and use this knowledge to protect elders from these crimes.
  • Web Resource Rating

    What every older Canadian should know about: Managing and protecting their assets

    Employment and Social Development Canada
    To protect your assets in older age, make a financial plan, consider insurance, and read up on frauds. Resource shares more brochures about government programs.
  • Web Resource Rating

    What every older Canadian should know about: Financial abuse

    Employment and Social Development Canada
    Learn about financial abuse that older adults face such as scams, forced purchases, confusing documents or paying for relatives without consent. Resource shares more brochures about government programs.
  • Web Resource Rating

    What every older Canadian should know about: Fraud and scams

    Employment and Social Development Canada
    Consider protecting yourself from identity theft, credit card fraud, online scams, or door-to-door scams. Resource shares more brochures about government programs.
  • Evidence Summary

    Neighbourhood watch can reduce crime

    Campbell Systematic Reviews (2008)
  • Web Resource Rating

    Domestic and inter-partner violence

    Gambling Research Exchange Ontario (GREO)
    Families, including both partner and children, of problem gamblers are more likely to experience forms of domestic violence. Studies report high correlations between domestic abuse and the harms associated with gambling. The financial losses and the emotional stresses associated with gambling are some of the causes of violence.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Spotting fraud and scams: How to protect yourself and safeguard your finances

    211 Ontario
    This resource aims to provide information on fraud, the number one crime against older Canadians. The resource is an introduction in recognizing common types of frauds and learn about the ways to protect yourself and your loved ones.
  • Evidence Summary

    There is a need for gender-sensitive health- and social-care services for aging individuals

    Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services (2012)
  • Web Resource Rating

    Understand PIN protection

    Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
    You should never share your bank PIN with anyone. Access this resource for more information on how to protect yourself from theft.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Identity theft

    Consumer Information Canada
    Identity theft is when personal information is stolen. This resource will help you stop and report identity theft.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Debit card fraud

    Consumer Information Canada
    Debit card fraud happens when someone steals your bank information and takes out money without permission. Many organizations in Canada protect citizens from fraud. This resource includes tips on how to prevent it and who to contact in case it happens.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Misleading advertising

    Consumer Information Canada
    Internet scams are becoming more elaborate and prevalent. Read this resource for information on how to protect yourself and identify online scams.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Substance use

    Gambling Research Exchange Ontario (GREO)
    Substance use and gambling are highly correlated. They often interact and progress the severity of each other. Intervention may be necessary to treat these addictions.
  • Web Resource Rating

    7 signs of financial elder abuse

    Get Smarter About Money
    Financial abuse is common among seniors and it is important to notice the signs. Use this resource to learn about some common signs that point to financial abuse so you can protect yourself and you loved ones.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Seniors: if you suspect financial abuse

    Get Smarter About Money
    If you suspect that you or a senior are being financially abused, use this resource to help you decide your next step.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Emotional abuse of older adults

    Yukon Social Services
    If you suspect that a senior is being emotionally abused, use this resource to learn the signs and tips for preventing this from happening in the future. Surprisingly, abusers are usually those who are close to the senior as they take advantage of their position of power.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Financial abuse of older adults

    Yukon Social Services
    If you suspect that a senior is being financially abused, use this resource to learn the signs and tips for preventing this from happening in the future. Financial abuse can include forgery, pressuring a senior to buy certain things, withholding credit cards or stealing cheques.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Abuse of older adults in later life

    Yukon Social Services
    Use this resource to learn why seniors are at a higher risk for abuse. Unfortunately, caregivers who are close to the senior are more likely to be the abuser due to their power in the relationship when there is a loss of independence.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Abuse and neglect of older adults in care or supported living facilities

    Yukon Social Services
    Use this resource to learn the ways seniors can be abused or neglected in assisted living facilities. Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual or financial and neglect is any kind of abandonment that takes advantage of vulnerable seniors.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Understanding and responding to elder abuse

    Government of BC
    If you suspect any type of elder abuse, use this governmental resource as a complete guide to understanding different types of abuse, how to respond, available government resources and ways to ensure a safe environment for both yourself and the victim.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Sexual abuse

    Seniors First BC
    If you are unsure what sexual abuse looks like, use this resource to learn more about the different ways seniors can be sexually abused. Many examples are provided for context.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Abuse of power of attorney

    Seniors First BC
    There are several types of power of attorney that exist and each type has differing levels of power and responsibility. Use this resource to recognize when someone in this role is abusing their power.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Elder Abuse: The Hidden Crime

    Community Legal Education Ontario
    Use this guide to learn all things about elder abuse, such as signs, types of abuse, how to prevent and report abuse and more. Information on financial help from the Ontario government and legal information is also offered for your convenience.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Power of Attorney for Personal Care

    Community Legal Education Ontario
    Use this resource to answer all your questions about powers of attorney for personal care and clarify the differences between this role and a power of attorney for property. If you need help choosing a power of attorney or want legal advice, resources are provided for your convenience.
  • Web Resource Rating

    It's your choice: Personal Planning Tools

    Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia
    If you are incapable of making your own decisions in the future due to unforeseen circumstances, you can prepare in advance to make sure your wishes are carried out. In order to start planning your personal affairs, consider using this resource to learn more about powers of attorney, adult legal guardianships and advance directives.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Information for Temporary Substitute Decision Makers Authorized by the Public Guardian and Trustee

    Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia
    Consider starting to plan in case you are unable to make your own decisions in the future. Learn how a temporary substitute decision maker appointed by a health care provider or a public guardian and trustee can make decisions on your behalf and what restrictions they have when making decisions.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Consent to health care and the role of the public guardian and trustee

    Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia
    When an adult is unable to make independent decisions, a substitute decision maker must be appointed. Understand the role of the public guardian and trustee by reading this factsheet.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Duties and Powers of a guardian of property

    Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
    If you have been appointed as a guardian of property, use this resource to learn about your legal responsibilities and authority. In this role, you are allowed to make decisions on behalf of the incapable person’s property but you cannot make a will.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Becoming a guardian of property

    Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
    This resource answers all your questions on becoming a guardian of property and outlines the process of being appointed as well as responsibilities and limitations to authority.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Elder Abuse and Neglect

    Seniors First BC
    Elder abuse can take on many forms such as physical, psychological or financial abuse. Neglect is also very common among seniors and can lead to poor mental health. Use the decision tree provided in this resource to learn how to detect and respond to abuse and neglect.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Financial Abuse

    Seniors First BC
    It may be difficult to recognize financial abuse among seniors as it can take on may forms. Use this resource to learn the different ways financial abuse can manifest itself.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Medication Abuse

    Seniors First BC
    Using too much or too little medication are examples of medication abuse. This can be a result of seniors often changing doctors or caretakers using medications to make seniors more cooperative and making them easier to care for. This resource provides example scenarios of medication abuse.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Neglect

    Seniors First BC
    If you are unsure of what neglect looks like in seniors, use this resource for more information. Neglect can be a result of depression, declining cognitive ability, inability to care for self or the presence of underlying conditions which can lead to negative social and physical consequences.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Psychological abuse

    Seniors First BC
    Psychological and emotional abuse can take many forms and affects the self-esteem and general well-being of seniors. Use this resource to learn the different ways this type of abuse can be manifested.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Financial Abuse: Protecting British Columbia's Seniors

    Seniors BC
    Financial abuse can present itself in many ways and can be recognized as someone manipulating you to try and take your money, your property or other assets. Use this resource for help on how to prevent this type of abuse and where you can call for help.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Financial abuse of seniors

    Government of Alberta
    Learn the signs of financial abuse by reading about Janet’s story. If you suspect that a senior you know is a victim of financial abuse, use this resource for ways to address the problem and ensure that they feel safe.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Facts on elder abuse

    Government of Alberta
    Use this resource to learn about all the types of elder abuse that goes on in communities and in families and how you can help the victims.
  • Web Resource Rating

    How to Tell Someone You Are Being Abused Starting the Conversation

    Seniors BC
    If you suspect that a senior is being abused or if you are a senior who is experiencing abuse, use this resource as a guide to help you tell loved ones and professionals of your situation. The resource uses plain language to explain all types of abuse and sample sentences you can use to describe your experience.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Responding to Elder Abuse Resources: Who to call, when and why

    Seniors BC
    If you think you or someone you know is a victim of elder abuse, use this resource to learn ways to recognize the signs and for a long list of resources in British Columbia that will be able to help you report the abuse.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Financial Abuse Protecting British Columbia’s Seniors

    Seniors BC
    Learn more about the growing prevalence of financial abuse among seniors and examples of this type of abuse. If you suspect any type of financial abuse, use this resource to learn ways to prevent and report abuse using their provided resources.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Be Fraud Aware

    Seniors BC
    Fraud can happen to anyone anywhere and seniors should be careful when speaking to telemarketers on the phone. This resource also teaches you how to identify con artists in order to ensure your safety.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Protection from Elder Abuse and Neglect

    British Columbia Family & Social Supports
    Use this web page as a guide to handling any type of elder abuse and protecting yourself and others from future attacks. These resources are known as information kits and are mostly relevant to residents of British Columbia and Canada.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Elder abuse

    National Institute on Aging
    If you suspect that a senior is being abused in any way, read this resource to learn about the different types of abuse that they can experience. Also learn about the signs to look out for and how you can help stop the problem.
  • Web Resource Rating

    7 Things to Know About Nursing Home Trust Funds

    Aging Care
    If you have a nursing home resident trust fund, read this resource to learn about the risks of putting money into this fund. Ensure your finances are safe and well-managed.
  • Web Resource Rating

    5 Legal Documents You Need for Your Loved Ones

    Caring.com
    Use this resource to learn about the important documents that seniors must have prepared for their loved ones in case of emergencies.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Spotting Elder Abuse: Tips for Long-Distance Caregivers

    National Institute on Aging
    Consider taking note of mood changes, signs of violence, theft or neglect. Contact authorities or a geriatric care manager.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Financial and Legal Matters

    British Columbia Family & Social Supports
    Use this resource to help plan legal and financial matters after retirement and prevent scams and fraud. Links to other resources are also provided for more information.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Thinking About Aging In Place

    Government of Alberta
    Consider practical advice for aging in your own community such as planning for social support, health needs and financial security.
  • Web Resource Rating

    IT’S YOUR MONEY: PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FINANCIAL ABUSE

    Government of Alberta
    Use this resource to keep informed about financial abuse among seniors and steps seniors can take to prevent financial abuse.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Report a scam or fraud

    Government of Ontario
    Collect evidence of your scam and report to anti-fraud centres such as the police, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services or Consumer Protection Ontario. Scammers use emergencies, romance, charity, gift cards and get-rich schemes to scam others.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Information about elderly abuse

    Government of Ontario
    Learn about the different types of elder abuse and how it impacts elders. Listen to adults who tell you they are being abused and seek help instead of facing the perpetrator. Resource shares various helplines and resources.
  • Web Resource Rating

    What you need to know about elder abuse

    Government of Ontario
    Learn about the different types of elder abuse and how it impacts elders. Listen to adults who tell you they are being abused and seek help instead of facing the perpetrator. Resource shares various helplines and resources.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Safety planning for older persons

    Government of Ontario
    Consider safety planning to prevent abuse by storing emergency phone numbers, saving extra money, plan an escape path and save identification documents. Visit information centres and tell community members if someone is abusing you.
  • Web Resource Rating

    What every older Canadian should know about powers of attorney (for financial matters and property) and joint bank accounts

    Government of Alberta
    Use this guide to learn more about the advantages and risks of powers of attorney and joint bank accounts in Canada. Find information on finding and choosing attorneys, things to consider before opening a joint bank account and many more topics.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Are you dating? Older Adults and Healthy Relationships

    Government of BC
    Use this resource to learn more about healthy older adult relationships and tips to stay safe while still having a good time dating others. Some examples of unhealthy relationships are also given along with resources that be useful this happens.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Fraud Protection Strategies for Seniors on the Phone

    Canadian Center for Elder Law
    Watch out for people who pretend to be relatives in need of money. Prevent scams by not sharing personal information, and asking other relatives first.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Fraud Protection Strategies for Seniors in the Home

    Canadian Center for Elder Law
    Watch out for scam mail that asks you to transfer funds or call a number to receive prize money. Prevent scams by reviewing if you entered a real contest, and contact Canada post to stop delivering junk mail.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Fraud Protection Strategies for Seniors in the Community

    Canadian Center for Elder Law
    Watch out for con artists who try to scam you for fake community initiatives. Prevent scams by asking questions, reviewing the details of your investment and consulting with lawyers or accountants.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Fraud Protection Strategies for Seniors on the Internet

    Canadian Center for Elder Law
    Watch out for scam e-mails that offer free movies or sales. Prevent scams by not clicking on advertisements, deleting these emails and changing spam settings.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Fraud Protection Strategies for Seniors on Identity Theft

    Canadian Center for Elder Law
    Watch out for scam e-mails from fake banks or businesses that ask for your private information and contain computer viruses. Prevent scams by not clicking on advertisements, deleting these emails and installing safety software.
  • Web Resource Rating

    ARCHIVED: Section IV: Age-Friendly Rural and Remote Communities – Checklist of Age-Friendly Features

    Public Health Agency of Canada (aging & seniors)
    This resource shares a list of features to make communities more age-friendly. Consider changing outdoor spaces, transport, housing and community services to help the elderly.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Thinking about aging in place

    Health Canada
    Plan to live in your community by making changes to your home. Consider moving to a community with social support, services, transport and other aging-related needs.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Know how to respond safely

    Government of Canada - Status of Women Canada
    Read this resource to learn how to respond to abusive actions. Speaking out, offering your assistance and calling 911 if necessary are some examples.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Mortgage Fraud

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    In Canada, seniors are most often the victims of fraud and financial abuse. Use this resource to learn about how to recognize, protect yourself against, and report these crimes.
  • Blog Post

    Aging behind bars

    Aging behind bars poses challenges. Since the vast majority of inmates end up being released into the community, it is important to look into how prison conditions affect older inmates and the support provided to them in order to ensure the success of their rehabilitation and social reintegration.
  • Blog Post

    Sexual assaults against older adults in nursing homes: recognizing the signs and asking for help

    Sexual assault is one of the most heinous forms of abuse, and some older adults living in long-term care facilities, assisted-living centres and nursing homes may become victims. Stay on the lookout for signs of physical and sexual abuse. If you see something, say something.
  • Blog Post

    A safe place: Fostering older adults’ sense of security

    Fear of crime is associated with negative effects on health and well-being, regardless of age. This fear can be amplified among older adults who are vulnerable, frail, socially isolated, and who no longer benefit from the same family and community support. Discover what the research tells us about strategies to reduce crime and reduce the fear of crime in your community.
  • Blog Post

    Older adults increasingly targeted by fraud and scams

    Financial fraud targeted at the aging population is a serious problem with both monetary and health-related consequences that is likely to continue escalating. Without development of prevention efforts, it’s estimated that the number of cases could nearly double in the next two to three decades.
  • Blog Post

    Are you a victim of abuse?

    Abuse and neglect of older adults can take many forms, but abuse cases are rarely reported. We need more robust strategies to identify, evaluate and respond to elder abuse.

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