Issues & Response Matrix

The following matrix is provided as a guide to help show the appropriate response to specific elder abuse issues.  But before we show the matrix, we wanted to mention another resource for deciding how the respond to abuse and neglect situations for vulnerable adults – the PGT’s Decision Tree.


Decision Tree

PGT’s DECISION TREE

NOTE – for adults who may be vulnerable or incapable, see also the two-page “Decision Tree: Assisting an Adult Who is Abused, Neglected or Self Neglecting” prepared by the Public Guardian and Trustee of BC.

 

The Decision Tree outlines which agencies to contact to make the most effective referrals.

The Decision Tree is accompanied by a series of five videos that together set the legislative context including:

 

  • the guiding principles of providing the least intrusive, most effective forms of support;
  • illustrate how to use the decision tree; and
  • provide scenarios showing when it may be appropriate to contact the police, a designated agency or the PGT.

 

To access the Decision Tree and video package, click here.

 


ISSUES & RESPONSE MATRIX

Emergency


Imminent or ongoing injury or damage to person or property.  Neglect or self-neglect that is causing or is likely to cause serious physical, mental or emotional harm or substantial damage or loss in respect of the adult’s financial affairs.



• Call 911!

• Get older adult to place of safety if possible




Older Adult is unable to seek support and assistance:

Note – for these purposes, an adult is unable to seek support and assistance because of

(a) physical restraint;

(b) a physical handicap that limits their ability to seek help: or

(c) an illness, disease, injury or other condition that affects their ability to make decisions about the abuse or neglect. (e.g. – dementia)

– from section 44 of the Adult Guardianship Act.


Elder Abuse

The deliberate mistreatment of an older adult that causes that adult physical, mental or emotional harm, and includes: intimidation, humiliation, physical assault, sexual assault, over-medication, withholding needed medication, censoring mail, invasion or denial of privacy or denial of access to visitors

 


 


• Call SAIL

• Call designated agency – the health authority for your area (health authorities are designated  under the law to investigate and respond to reports of adult abuse and neglect they receive or become aware of)



Neglect

any failure to provide necessary care, assistance, guidance or attention to an adult that causes, or is reasonably likely to cause within a short period of time, the adult serious physical, mental or emotional harm or substantial damage or loss in respect of the adult’s financial affairs, and includes self neglect;

 


 


 

• Call SAIL

• Call designated agency (health authority)

 



Self Neglect

any failure of an adult to take care of himself or herself that causes, or is reasonably likely to cause within a short period of time, serious physical or mental harm or substantial damage or loss in respect of the adult’s financial affairs, and includes:

(a) living in grossly unsanitary conditions,

(b) suffering from an untreated illness, disease or injury,

(c) suffering from malnutrition to such an extent that, without intervention, the adult’s physical or mental health is likely to be severely impaired,

(d) creating a hazardous situation that will likely cause serious physical harm to the adult or others or cause substantial damage to or loss of property, and

(e) suffering from an illness, disease or injury that results in the adult dealing with his or her financial affairs in a manner that is likely to cause substantial damage or loss in respect of those financial affairs


 


 

 

 

 

• Call SAIL

• Call designated agency (health authority)

 

 

 

 



Financial Exploitation

Illegal or improper use of an older adult’s funds or assets, such as:

  • Theft of cash, credit cards, bank cards, or valuables
  • Cashing in investments without permission
  • Monetary ‘gifts’ that are involuntary—e.g. gifts made under coercion, undue influence or threats
  • Misuse of a credit card or bank card by a friend or family member given access to the PIN number in order to assist the older person with specific activities
  • Family loans that are not repaid and repeated borrowing
  • Misuse of a power under a general or enduring power of attorney
  • Misuse of funds in a joint account created ostensibly to allow another person to assist the senior with financial transactions
  • Private care agreements, whereby a senior transfers title of property in exchange for anticipated care that is not provided
  • Withholding of the older person’s pension cheque by attorney or other decision-maker or family member with access to the older person’s mail
  • Forging the older person’s name or altering documents to get permission to access or dispose of assets, including forging cheques
  • Forcing a senior to sign over their home or a vehicle
  • Predatory’ marriage
  • Pressuring an older person to sign documents that they do not have the capacity to understand.


 

 

 

• Call SAIL

• For abuse of a power of attorney or representation agreement, referrals can be made to Assessment and Investigation Services (AIS) at the PGT.

• Report to Public Guardian & Trustee:

Can arrange for assessment of incapability AGA, s.53(5);

•Ability to temporarily freeze assets in an emergency PGT Act, s. 19.

•Special investigation powers PGT Act, s. 17 and 18.




Older Adult is able to seek support and assistance


Elder Abuse

The deliberate mistreatment of an older adult that causes that adult physical, mental or emotional harm and includes: intimidation, humiliation, physical assault, sexual assault, over-medication, withholding needed medication, censoring mail, invasion or denial of privacy or denial of access to visitors


 


• Older adult should call  SAIL

• Older adult should consider protection order under Family Law Act

 



 

Neglect

any failure to provide necessary care, assistance, guidance or attention to an adult that causes, or is reasonably likely to cause within a short period of time, the adult serious physical, mental or emotional harm or substantial damage or loss in respect of the adult’s financial affairs, and includes self-neglect;

 

 

 


 


• Try to overcome any social isolation

• Suggest home care +/or other supports

• Look into respite care and other supports for caregiver

• consider section 7 Representation Agreement with routine financial management

• consider Power of Attorney

• criminal charge – failure to provide the necessaries of life/criiminal negligence



Self Neglect

any failure of an adult to take care of himself or herself that causes, or is reasonably likely to cause within a short period of time, serious physical or mental harm or substantial damage or loss in respect of the adult’s financial affairs, and includes:

(a) living in grossly unsanitary conditions,

(b) suffering from an untreated illness, disease or injury,

(c) suffering from malnutrition to such an extent that, without intervention, the adult’s physical or mental health is likely to be severely impaired,

(d) creating a hazardous situation that will likely cause serious physical harm to the adult or others or cause substantial damage to or loss of property, and

(e) suffering from an illness, disease or injury that results in the adult dealing with his or her financial affairs in a manner that is likely to cause substantial damage or loss in respect of those financial affairs



 

 

• Try to overcome any social isolation

• Suggest home care

• consider section 7 Representation Agreement with routine financial management

 

 

 

 



Financial Exploitation

Illegal or improper use of an older adult’s funds or assets, such as:

  • Theft of cash, credit cards, bank cards, or valuables
  • Cashing in investments without permission
  • Monetary ‘gifts’ that are involuntary—e.g. gifts made under coercion, undue influence or threats
  • Misuse of a credit card or bank card by a friend or family member given access to the PIN number in order to assist the older person with specific activities
  • Family loans that are not repaid and repeated borrowing
  • Misuse of a power under a general or enduring power of attorney
  • Misuse of funds in a joint account created ostensibly to allow another person to assist the senior with financial transactions
  • Private care agreements, whereby a senior transfers title of property in exchange for anticipated care that is not provided
  • Withholding of the older person’s pension cheque by attorney or other decision-maker or family member with access to the older person’s mail
  • Forging the older person’s name or altering documents to get permission to access or dispose of assets, including forging cheques
  • Forcing a senior to sign over their home or a vehicle
  • Predatory’ marriage
  • Pressuring an older person to sign documents that they do not have the capacity to understand.


• Older Adult should call SAIL

• if done by attorney under POA – consider revocation and replacement

• if joint account – attempt to freeze account

• If ATM accessed with PIN # – get bank to close account or change PIN#

• If undocumented loan – consider getting a loan agreement or promissory note (I.O.U.)

• consider Power of Attorney if doesn’t have one

• consider section 7 Representation Agreement with routine financial management

• criminal charges for theft, fraud, breach of trust, forgery, extortion

• civil claim for restitution