Alleged elder abuse case cause for concern, police say
Toronto police say 10 per cent of all seniors will face some kind of fraud or abuse
An alleged case of elder fraud involving a 94-year-old woman is raising important lessons for anyone with seniors in their lives.
On Wednesday, police arrested and charged Vera Nunes and her husband, Louis Serpa Da Conceicao Santos after it was revealed they allegedly defrauded Norma Marshall of her possessions and life savings.
The crime prevention officer that helped arrest the suspects in Norma’s case says 10 per cent of all seniors will face some kind of fraud or abuse.
- Toronto police arrest 2 for elder abuse, fraud
- Elder abuse: A growing dilemma in an aging population
- Toronto elder abuse under-reported: advocate
"Unfortunately there’s a lot more of it going on than just Norma," said the Timothy Somers with 53 Division’s crime prevention team.
The CBC’s Shannon Martin reported that many seniors know they’re being taken advantage of, but refuse to report potential crimes — some wanting to keep a relationship, rather than be alone.
"They feel lonely, they feel isolated, so they get victimized because of that," said Somers.
Inside the Toronto Community Care Centre, staff want seniors to know it’s alright to reach out for help.
The centre works to connect the elderly to various programs from health care to housekeeping.
"The services that provide support for seniors — they also do friendly visiting, they can hook seniors up with social programs, meal programs, so people don't have to be isolated," said Anne Wojtak.
Police have arranged for Norma to get Meals on Wheels, and daily visits by home care workers.
A trust fund has already been set up in Norma's name and people can go to any RBC Royal Bank to donate.
Police have also upgraded charges against the two accused to fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000. Both are also now charged with being unlawfully in a dwelling.
With files from Shannon Martin