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Seniors, at times, face situations that affect their well-being and safety.

One of the most troubling situations is the rise in elder abuse, which can occur in institutions and in the home environment, in times when seniors are at their most vulnerable.

This abuse can be physical, psychological, and financial or neglect.

It’s been estimated that between four and 10 percent of seniors living in Canada have been subjected to some form of abuse or neglect, although exact figures are difficult to ascertain.

Just as in spousal abuse, many cases of elder abuse are unreported by the victims because of fear or shame.

More than 50 percent of violent crimes against seniors are committed by relatives, which includes physical abuse such as pushing, punching, slapping, and threatening the senior with a violent act.

Major assaults on seniors which result in bodily injury involve the use of weapons.

Senior women are twice as likely to be victimized by a spouse or ex-spouse as senior men.

The term “abuse” as it relates to seniors has been defined by the World Health Organization as “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.”

Editor’s note: The above was submitted by the Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (S.A.L.T.) group, which meets on the last Tuesday of each month at 11 a.m. at the Super 8 Motel.

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