Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

October 04, 2010 10:01 ET

Government of Canada Raises Awareness About Financial Exploitation of Seniors

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 4, 2010) - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State (Seniors), emphasized that financial abuse is a real problem affecting seniors, as she marked the beginning of the second phase of the Government's Elder Abuse Awareness campaign.

The campaign, Elder Abuse – It's Time to Face the Reality, is designed to help seniors and others recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse. The campaign will run from October to December and will focus on the issue of financial abuse.

"Any form of abuse is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. It is important that all Canadians take the time to educate themselves about the signs and symptoms of elder abuse," said Minister of State Ablonczy. "This year's campaign focuses on financial exploitation of seniors and intends to provide Canadians with the information and encouragement they need to speak up and seek help."

The awareness campaign is part of the three-year Federal Elder Abuse Awareness Initiative. Through this initiative, the Government of Canada is working with the provinces and territories, professional associations and community organizations to take active measures to detect and prevent exploitation of older Canadians.

For more information on the Government of Canada's commitments regarding seniors, including elder abuse awareness initiatives, visit

 This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


Recognizing the signs of financial abuse

Whether it is the illegal or unauthorized use of money or property, or pressure to change a will, financial abuse is a reality for many older Canadians. 

To take action against financial exploitation, seniors can help protect themselves by:

  • keeping financial and personal information in a safe place;
  • asking someone trusted to look over contracts and other papers before signing them; and
  • getting independent legal advice before making major decisions regarding home or property or signing related documents, even when family is involved. 

Financial abuse can be difficult to recognize. Signs may include:

  • unexplained changes in bank account information;
  • suspicious-looking signatures on cheques or documents;
  • unauthorized attempts to include additional names on a bank or other signature card; and
  • sudden drops in cash flow or financial holdings. 

For more information on the Government of Canada's elder abuse awareness initiatives, visit or contact 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232). People using a teletypewriter (TTY), can call 1-800-926-9105.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister of State Ablonczy
    Heather Hume
    Communications Advisor
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office