Elder financial abuse includes loans to family or friends that aren’t paid back and forging a signature on documents. (Ann/Flickr)

Notaries bring awareness to elder abuse

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day June 15

In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day today (June 15), B.C. notaries are bringing attention to the often hidden but prevalent problem of older people being physically, emotionally or financially abused at the hands of strangers, acquaintances and even family members.

According to a release from B.C. Notaries, elder abuse is a significant concern in the province, where 18.3 per cent of B.C.’s population is aged 65 or older, compared to the national average of 16.9 per cent.

In Qualicum Beach, 52.1 per cent of the population is over the age of 65 — the highest percentage in the country. Parksville ranks third with 42.4 per cent.

Anthony McAulay of Anthony MacAulay Notary Corp. said Parksville Qualicum Beach is definitely an older population that needs documents in place for the future while they still have the capacity to do so.

The whole point of the documents, MacAulay said, is to care for a person when they can’t care for themselves.

MacAulay said these documents are put in place while the client still has the capacity to know who’s a trusted person.

“Certainly when I do an interview for a power of attorney, my first concern is assessing sort of the possibility of abuse,” he said. “I’ve got a checklist — red flags — for potential abuse; if a person is dependent on the family member for care or companionship — those are sort of what I get concerned about.”

Financial abuse, according to the release, includes loans to family or friends that aren’t paid back, forging a signature on documents, marking unauthorized withdrawals from the senior’s bank account or unauthorized charges on their credit card, and getting an older person to sign a will or power of attorney through deception or coercion.

“Strangers are pretty easy to identify,” MacAulay said. “If a family member is looking to take advantage of an older person, that can be hard to spot.”

Notaries help many seniors ensure their financial or real estate assets are safeguarded, so they don’t fall victim to a scammer.

The number one thing MacAulay said he would tell people is to be careful of the phone calls they receive and what appears on their computers.

“I tell people to call the RCMP if they have concerns,” MacAulay said. “As notaries we’re sort of on the front lines of powers of attorneys, wills, representation agreements (and) appointing trusted people to be in charge of your affairs.”

For more information on B.C. Notaries, visit www.notaries.bc.ca.

Just Posted

RDN to create conceptual designs for fire halls

Committee endorses standardization design of buildings

Oceanside RCMP asking for help in finding teen

Isaiah Taylor may be in Qualicum Beach, Tofino or Victoria

Coast Guard searching waters off Tofino for three missing men

Search crews are concentrating their efforts in a 41km area near Tofino

Washington State man facing murder charges in 1987 killing of Victoria couple

Two counts of aggravated first-degree murder filed against William Talbott II in Snohomish

30 degrees and warmer forecasted with heat wave in B.C.

The weather could stay well into next week, according to Environment Canada

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

B.C. NHL prospect expected to make ‘full recovery’ after an incident in Calgary

Jordy Bellerive was injured in a reported house fire Saturday night

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

B.C. VIEWS: Orphans of our urban drug culture neglected again

Child advocate Bernard Richard leaves B.C. with harsh message

From marijuana beer to pot cookies, Canadian companies creating cannabis edibles

Manufacturers think that edibles will do well with users who don’t want to smoke or vape

Privacy lawyer warns against victim blaming in recent sextortion scams

Perpetrators get sexual photos of the victim and threaten to share them with friends and families

QB Jennings leads Lions to 22-10 win over Alouettes

B.C. wins CFL home opener over Montreal

Most Read