I’m an older adult being forced from my home. What can I do?
Question & AnswerI’m an older adult being forced from my home. What can I do?
1. Learn what abuse is
Abuse is when someone limits or controls your rights and what you can do.
One of the warning signs of is when people try to force you to accept their decisions. This includes changes in your living arrangements, for example, people moving into your home or you being forced out.
But it can be hard to know when something is abuse. And abusers are often people you love or who seem concerned about you.
You can be abused by:
- 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 who you rely on for a place to live or for financial help
- friends and other trusted people in your life
Your friends, family, or caregivers may be worried about you, or think you need more help. But they don't get to decide what living arrangement is best for you. This applies as long as you're to decide for yourself.
Emotional or psychological abuse can happen when someone tries to change your living arrangements by:
- insulting, humiliating, blaming, or shaming you, or putting you down
- threatening or bullying you
- forcing you to move
- if you refuse to move, stopping you from contacting your friends or family members, or from going to social events
Financial abuse happens when someone tries to change your living conditions by:
- controlling how you pay for your home
- living in your home without paying a fair share of the expenses
- pressuring you to do something you don't want to do, such as selling your home or personal belongings
Neglect is also abuse if someone who agreed to provide you with care does not make sure that your basic needs are being met. For example, they may leave you in a place that's not safe.
Or, they may threaten to stop doing things for you if you don't move. For example, they may:
- stop you from getting medical care or home care where you currently live
- not provide you with food, proper clothing, or bathing or personal hygiene
- not help you with daily activities that you need to live in your current home
- abandon you or leave you alone if you're dependent
Abuse can also be physical or sexual. You may experience more than one type of abuse, for example emotional and financial, if someone is trying to change your living arrangements.