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Elder abuse: The hidden crime

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What are the solutions to elder abuse?

Elder abuse is a complex problem that requires many responses, depending on the type of abuse.

The Home Care and Community Services Act requires LHINs to have a plan to deal with abuse.

And community agencies providing services through LHINs must have a plan to prevent, recognize, and address the abuse of people getting these services.

There are organizations and community groups working to raise awareness about elder abuse. They do this to prevent abuse and to help people contact services if they become victims of abuse.

For example, Elder Abuse Ontario is a non-profit, charitable organization that focuses on preventing elder abuse through education, training, collaboration, advocacy, and co-ordinating services.

Some people feel that there should be a special provincial law that requires the reporting of elder abuse.

But a special law may be more harmful than helpful.

Special laws can give the impression that resources and services exist to help victims. In fact, services may not exist or there may not be enough to meet a victim's needs.

Special laws by themselves do little to prevent abuse. It may be better to promote a clearer understanding of existing laws and services, and how to use them effectively.

Victims need help now. The police, health and social services, families, and friends can use current laws to help them.