The Quadra Granville Seniors Group and the South Granville Seniors Centre sponsored and organized an Elder Abuse Awareness Event held on July 13, 2018. The event was very successful with a full house of about 50 attendees.
Both presenters were excellent and there was a great deal of interaction with the audience; the event ran overtime even though there were many more questions from the audience.
Quentin provided extremely useful advice on a broad spectrum of issues surrounding seniors’ legal concerns and spent at least half an hour answering questions. He also emphasized the need for seniors to stay engaged in their community and maintain a routine so others would be aware of changes or unusual behavior, giving a few examples where he had been called in to assist seniors potentially in legal distress.
Summary of Quentin’s presentation.
Ways to minimize the chances of being a victim of elder abuse. Be visible.
Be active in your community
- Eating out
Have a routine, and engage with others. You want any changes in your routine to be noticed.
You want others to see any diminishment of capacity, signs of undue influence, stress, etc. that
come with abuse.
Forms of Abuse
Financial abuse occurs when a person’s finances are not managed in his/her best interests.
Who are the abusers?
- Children and other close relatives
- Strangers—for example: identity theft
What to do?
- The police won’t intervene unless crime committed. Relevant questions:
- Has a crime occurred, or is the behaviour of the abuser currently “just” threats?
- Does the victim have mental capacity?
- Is the victim being coerced/unduly influenced, or is (s)he simply just making bad
- There can be significant grey areas in the analysis.
How to avoid abuse?
Be involved, be watched by friends and acquaintances, be included in society. Rely on
Taking Legal steps
If you have capacity, get advice as soon as you are able. Do not wait.
If the victim lacks mental capacity and has done no estate planning, what’s next? A person can apply for the committeeship of the adult’s estate and person. This is acourt-based appointment requiring affidavits of two physicians confirming the mental
incapacity of the adult.
If the victim has mental capacity, then sign prepare and sign documentation;
- Power of Attorney—A Power of Attorney permits your attorney to do virtually everything you can do with respect to the management of your assets. An enduring Power of Attorney can be used during any period when you become incapable by reason of mental infirmity.
- Representation Agreement for Health Care—The purpose of a Representation Agreement is to allow you to grant to a person the legal authority to make health care decisions on your behalf should you at any time lack the mental capacity to do so.
- Will—The purpose of a Will is to determine how your estate will be distributed following your death.
- Trust Planning prior to death to avoid probate fees and minimize the risk of Wills Variation Applications.
Adrian & Co.
Barristers & Solicitors
5660 Yew Street,
Vancouver, BC V6M 3Y3
Direct Line: 604-264-4389
Susan provided insightful information on what abuse is, how to identify it, communicate and respond effectively, sharing powerful videos in a compassionate manner. She provided much thoughtful advice and recommendations during her question and answer period with the audience, as well as a list of resources for assistance.
Susan suggested these resources.
bc211 is a Vancouver-based nonprofit organization that specializes in providing information and referral regarding community, government and social services in BC. Our help line services include 211, the Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service (ADIRS), the Problem Gambling Help Line, VictimLink BC, and the Youth Against Violence Line.
We thank both Quentin and Susan for generously offering their time and sharing their expertise on this important topic.
Both speakers will provide a summary of their presentation as the audience wanted follow up referral. These summaries will be posted on this Web page.