Statement by Judith Robertson, Commissioner of Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Financial abuse is a common form of elder abuse in Canada, but it can be hard to recognize and often goes unreported. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is an opportunity to heighten awareness of elder abuse as an important issue.

At the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), our role is to protect financial consumers, and we are committed to helping prevent the financial abuse of seniors.

More and more Canadians are living longer, and cognitive decline and social isolation – both common with age – increase the vulnerability of seniors and make them more susceptible to being victims. Abusers are sometimes strangers, but are often people that seniors trust, like a relative or caregiver.

In response, FCAC, in consultation with industry and consumer groups, created the Seniors’ Code of Conduct to guide banks in the services they deliver to better meet the needs of seniors. This includes detecting and preventing financial abuse among the elderly. In particular, the Code is designed to protect seniors who may experience health, mobility or cognitive changes that can impact their ability to bank. As the principles of the Code are implemented, FCAC will steadfastly monitor the financial industry’s compliance to protect our seniors.

Seniors are also increasingly the targets of fraud. FCAC has a range of resources on fraud prevention and information specific to the financial abuse of seniors is available from our other partners in the Government of Canada. Please take a look and share this information with those you love.

We all play an important role in protecting our seniors. While it can be difficult to discuss finances with older family members or friends, it is one of the best things that you can do to protect them from financial abuse. As we mark this day to raise awareness of elder abuse, I hope that you will reach out to the seniors in your life to help protect them from becoming victims of financial abuse.

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