I’m an older adult. How can I protect myself from abuse?

Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, or financial. It can also be abuse if you’re neglected or not cared for properly. Neglect happens when someone agrees to provide you with care but does not look after your basic needs.

If any of these things happen to you, it’s not your fault. No one has the right to hurt or abuse you. You have the right to be safe and free from abuse.

Read more about what abuse is in I’m an older adult. How do I know if I’m being abused?

Protecting yourself

There are a number of things you can do to help protect yourself.

 If you’re being abused, what you can do depends on whether the abuse is a crime, who is abusing you, and where you live.

For example, you could:

  • call 911 if it’s an emergency
  • call your local police station if you think there’s been a crime, such as theft, , abuse of a Power of Attorney, or physical or sexual assault
  • make a list and learn the phone numbers of places where you can get help and keep them in a safe place
  • tell your friends and family what’s happening and let them know how they can help
  • have a for leaving your home and know where you can go if you need to leave, such as your closest neighbour or a friend’s house
  • report the abuse, or suspected abuse, if you live in a licensed or a licensed

You can talk to a lawyer to find out more about your options and to help plan for the future.

And there are organizations that offer services and support to people who’ve been abused.

Read more about what you can do in the Next Steps.

Who are abusers

Abusers are usually people you know, and often people you care about and trust.

Abusers usually have control or influence in your life, such as providing food, shelter, personal care, or companionship. For example, this might be:

  • your family members
  • your spouse or partner
  • people you live with, your neighbours, or your landlord
  • caregivers, who are paid or not paid to help you
  • service providers who you hire to do work around your home or property
  • people you rely on for a place to live or for financial help
  • friends and other people you trust
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