Statistics and Understanding it's Relationship to Senior Abuse

In 2016, there were approximately 101,660 seniors ages 65 years and older living in Simcoe Muskoka, this is a population increased of 23.3% during a five-year period, and is the fastest growing age group.

  • Simcoe Muskoka’s seniors make up 19% of Simcoe Muskoka’s total population in 2016. This is higher than the percentage of seniors in the Ontario population, which was only 16.7%.
  • According to population projections, by 2036 the size of the senior population will increase by about two-fold and persons aged 65 and over will represent one-quarter of the Canadian population.

These statistics are important as we look at risk to seniors and particularly abuse to seniors. Abuse against seniors can take many forms: physical, financial, emotional, neglect, and sexual abuse. With financial abuse being to most prevalent and most destructive to the senior. Financial abuse happens when someone gains financial access of the senior’s money/assets and/or it can be the result of frauds and scams.

  • Often perpetrated by a family member and/or caregiver within the senior’s home, institutional settings such as long-term care homes, retirement homes, seniors’ group homes, private facilities or other institutions including hospitals or specialty care settings.
  • Seniors who were the victims of family violence identified their own adult children (43%) and their spouses (28%) as perpetrators and the female seniors was more likely than the male senior to be victimized by a spouse.
  • Seniors abuse tends to be lower among those living in urban versus rural areas, therefore isolation can put seniors at a greater risk of experiencing abuse
  • Senior who have physical disabilities or cognitive impairments are at greater risk of abuse because they are more vulnerable.

Senior abuse occurs when the abuser uses their position of power to intimidate, isolate, control, or gain financial access. The senior is often dependent on the abuser for some assistance such as: physical care, grocery shopping, driving to appointments, helping with their banking, or general household duties. Dependency tends to increase the risk of becoming victimized.

Statistics Canada (2013) Section 4: Family violence against seniors.
Muskoka District Health Unit (2016) Health Stats Senior Population Count