Canada's population is aging as the number of seniors in Canada has increases 57.6% between 1992 and 2012. At the same time, the number of children is declining, falling 3.6% during the same period.1 This shift means that an increasing number of people will be put into the position of caregiver for their parents even as they may be caring for their own family. Juggling these responsibilities involves, by necessity, a great deal of stress. We must be mindful, therefore, of the problem of elder abuse. Below are some quick statistics on the scope of the problem today.
All statistics are taken from Family Violence in Canada, 2010 published by Statistics Canada and retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2012001/article/11643-eng.htm
- Police-reported violence against seniors is 7.5 times lower than the most at-risk age group (25 – 34 year olds).
- In 2010, the rate of police-reported violent crimes against seniors was 185 victims for every 100,000 population.
- When considering violence at the hands of a family member, rates of violence were higher for senior women. There were 69 per 100,000 females over 65 who were violently victimized by a family member, compared to 51 per 100,000 males over 65.
- According to 2010 police-reported data, rates of family violence against seniors were highest when the accused was an adult child (25 per 100,000) or a current or former spouse (16 per 100,000).
- Senior females were most likely to experience family violence at the hands of their current or ex-spouse (22 per 100,000) or their adult children (27 per 100,000); while senior males were more likely to be victimized by their adult children (24 per 100,000).
- Police-reported data shows that family violence against seniors peaks at age 65 and that the risk generally declines as seniors age.