Let's Get Real About Elder Abuse in 2011 – PART 3: Service Gaps on the Ground and CARP Recommendations

As a result or this tremendous gap abused seniors are either trapped in an abusive situation or forced into acute care (ALC) and Long Term Care beds. ALC beds are notoriously unfriendly places for seniors and important services like counseling are not available there. Neither hospitals or Long Term Care facilities are appropriately equipped to handle the victims security needs and to take the appropriate measures to ensure that they are out of reach from their abuser.
– Elder Abusers Registry
On May 11, 2011, Manitoba proposed Canadas first adult abuse registry as well as tough new offences and penalties to better protect adults with intellectual disabilities. The registry would make the names of those who abuse or neglect vulnerable adults under any Act available to employers for screening potential employees or volunteers. Similar registries already exist in the United States. The registry, which will provide added assurance to vulnerable people and their families, is expected to be operational in spring 2012. The government hopes this registry will deter people who have a history of abuse from applying for jobs with vulnerable people.

There are two ways that an individual would be put on the registry:

1. Individuals convicted of an offence against a vulnerable person under any Act would be automatically placed on the registry.
2. Where there is no conviction, a person could be referred to an adult abuse registry committee, which would determine if that person should be placed on the registry based on a finding that abuse or neglect occurred.

This seems like a good model for a National Elder Abuser registry. All accommodations that employ persons who work with or care for older persons should be mandated to crosscheck all employees with the registry.

Lets Get Real About Elder Abuse in 2011 – PART 3: Revised Policy Recommendations

There is an urgent and pressing need for elder shelters tailored to needs older abuse victims. The model exists for abused women and has proven to be successful. Although this will require an initial capital injection it will take pressure off the healthcare system, which currently houses seniors in acute care beds. This is both expensive and unacceptable from a human cost perspective.
Designate an elder protection agency with an elder protection mandate, accountable for case management and coordination of integrated response strategy with adult protective services/elder abuse workers, criminal justice professionals (law enforcement, prosecutors and court personnel), health care professionals (doctors, nurses, PSWs, therapeutic, LTC, community based, inpatient and outpatient), domestic abuse and sexual assault advocates (including hotlines, peer groups, volunteers, counselors, shelter workers).
Create a National Elder Abuse Hot Line with 911 as its initial contact point and calls referred to a specialized team
Specialized Investigative Support for existing criminal offences
Integrate of an Aging Education Module in all Curriculums for law enforcement, social services and healthcare professionals.
Use or adapt the Exacerbated Sentencing Provision for hate crimes and breach of trust already in the Criminal Code and add new Criminal Offence of Elder Abuse if warranted following a review
Change Elder Abuse Awareness Day to Elder Abuse Eradication Day

Keywords: elder, abuse, ageism, complaints, protection