Canadians think elder abuse much more common than experts do: survey

About three-quarters want better enforcement of existing laws that deal with elder abuse or more resources for seniors’ organizations. Six in 10 say new laws are needed to deal with the problem.

There’s near-unanimity that existing laws should be strengthened to impose tougher sanctions for offences against seniors. Just six per cent disagree.

During the last election campaign, the Conservatives promised to amend the Criminal Code to add vulnerability due to age as an aggravating factor when sentencing those who commit crimes against seniors. In this month’s throne speech, the government pledged to toughen sentences.

This month’s budget provided $10 million over two years to increase funding for the New Horizons for Seniors Program, with elder abuse awareness a funding objective. A call for proposals under the program is expected soon.

The survey has a margin of error of 1.8 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20.

© The Ottawa Citizen

Keywords: elder, abuse, awareness, crime, laws