Photo: Renaud Philippe Archives The Duty
According to some, these figures show a growing awareness within society, as victims, or witnesses, do not hesitate to denounce cases of exploitation.
Seniors ruined by their banker, neglected by a health care professional or even manipulated by a relative : the investigations of the Commission of human rights and the rights of the jeunesse du Québec (CDPDJ) concerning the exploitation of the elderly have experienced an increase of 55 % in the last year.
In 2017-2018, 53 surveys have been conducted by the CDPDJ, compared with 29 the previous year. The Commission has also received 230 requests on this subject, although it had received 164 in 2016-2017.
The figures are troubling, but they do have, however, nothing alarming, writes Philippe-André Tessier, president ad interim of the CDPDJ. On the contrary, they reflect a growing awareness within society, as victims, or witnesses, do not hesitate to denounce cases of exploitation of the elderly and contact the resources that can help them.
“Since the introduction in 2017 of the Act to combat elder abuse, and any other person in a position of vulnerability — which has enabled the organizations working in the field to work together to combat this phenomenon, there is a greater likelihood that a request be made “, he noted.
An opinion shared by Christine Morin, a professor of law at the University of Laval. It is also believed that the aging of the population contributes to raise the awareness of a greater number of people to the problem. “With more elderly people in society, it is normal that the problem will become more frequent, more visible, and more people feel harassed. “
On the ground, some agencies are concerned, however, that these figures are not simply the reflection of an increase in cases of exploitation of elders. “It is worrying to see these figures rising. It forces us to realize that this is a problem as well now, and that is not likely to decrease in the coming years “, says Rose-Mary Thonney, the acting president of the quebec Association of retired public and parapublic sectors.
“It is worrying to see more cases today, of vulnerable people which we enjoy or that are abused,” says the president of the Regroupement provincial committees of users, and Claude Ménard. It is hoped, however, that the increase of complaints and investigations evidenced by simply the effectiveness of the policies put in place in Quebec.