Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Kramberger: These services can help West Island seniors facing abuse, fraud | #scams | #elderlyscams – Active Lifestyle Media

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Elderly ScamsKramberger: These services can help West Island seniors facing abuse, fraud | #scams | #elderlyscams

Kramberger: These services can help West Island seniors facing abuse, fraud | #scams | #elderlyscams

Support for elder abuse can be a phone call away, and it’s also possible a neighbour or friend can help out.

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Seniors — from those living independently to ones in care homes — faced a difficult period during the COVID-19 pandemic, coping with increased health risks and isolation, food insecurity, plus the lack of affordable housing.

On top of these issues, the aging of the West Island demographic also means an increase in potential abuse, exploitation or neglect for many vulnerable people in the community.

In advance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, the West Island Committee Against Elder Abuse, an offshoot of the local Table de Concertation des aînés, hopes to highlight local resources and that seniors do not need to face these issues alone.

“This year, we wanted to put out a special (media) awareness campaign … during this pandemic. We used to do kiosks at Marché de l’Ouest or Pointe-Claire Plaza,” said Sheila Laursen, a retired YMCA organizer, longtime community activist and one of the co-founders of the Table de quartier sud de l’Ouest-de-l’Île (TQSOI).


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“The committee is focused on the growing problem of exploitation and abuse of seniors in our society, especially things like financial exploitation,” she said. “We wanted to get the message to people. If there are things that make you uncomfortable, they should ask.

“If you feel like somebody is managing your finances without your permission and are isolating you, there is help,” said Laursen, 77.

Support for elder abuse can be a phone call away, and it’s also possible a neighbour or friend could help out, Laursen noted.

“There’s actually been a program called ‘It’s not correct.’ For about seven years, we’ve been trying to train people to be ambassadors, to be aware of the kinds of abuse that can be.

“You don’t have to be a professional. You just have to be someone who is concerned about friends or neighbours,” she said, adding such in-person training is also on hold during the pandemic.


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Some local services that deal with the well-being of seniors include Pointe-Claire Aid for Seniors and Dorval’s Community Aid program, she noted.

As for fraud prevention information, Laursen said The Little Black Book of Scams can be downloaded via the Competition Bureau of Canada’s website.

The West Island Committee Against Elder Abuse is a collaboration of diverse ethnic groups, community organizations, Montreal police and local CLSCs.

All these community initiatives and health-sector bodies are doing their part to make sure seniors feel safe in the community.

“We should all be looking out for each other these days,” Laursen said. “We want to make people aware that there might be someone, or themselves, who are at risk.”


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Resources for West Island seniors

  • Elder Abuse Help Line    1-888-489-2287
  • Info social:                       811
  • CLSC Pierrefonds           514-626-2572
  • CLSC Lac St-Louis         514-697-4110
  • CLSC Dorval-Lachine    514-639-0650
  • Canadian Anti-Fraud     1-888-495-8501
  • West Island Community Resource Centre  514-694-6404

Albert Kramberger, who has covered the West Island as a journalist since 1995, is editor of the Montreal Gazette’s West Island/Off-Island section.

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