Fight against mistreatment

Although mistreatment may exist in every sector, it is seldom acknowledged or denounced, and is often kept quiet. Mistreatment - whether intentional or unintentional - has real consequences that can potentially be devastating for the person’s quality of life.

In accordance with the  Act to combat maltreatment of seniors and other persons of full age in vulnerable situations the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal does not tolerate any form of mistreatment within its facilities, for all of its users.

To support this Law, the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal has put in place a  A policy to Counter the Mistreatment of Adults in Situations of Vulnerability (only available in French) for all staff (nurses, orderlies, office workers, contractual partners, volunteers, etc.). The objective of this policy is to ensure the safety, well-being and quality of life of all users, without any discrimination.

Some definitions

Mistreatment is defined as a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to the person. It can be intentional or unintentional.

There are seven forms of abuse: psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, rights violations, organizational abuse, and ageism.

Ageism is discrimination against a person based on their age that occurs through hostile or negative behaviour, harmful actions, or social exclusion.

Well-treatment: Taking proper care of the users encompasses their well-being, respect for their dignity, personal development, self-esteem, and safety. It also involves special attention, behaviours, actions, and practices that respect their values, their culture, their beliefs, their life course, and their distinctiveness, as well as their rights and freedoms.

What to do when there is abuse or a suspicion of abuse?

If you believe you are being abused or have witnessed such a situation, break the silence and get help to bring the situation to an end. 

  • If the situation is urgent, immediately dial 911
  • If you are a victim or you have a suspicion of mistreatment of a person, contact the police department in your neighborhood
  • If you believe that you are a victim or you think that someone is a victim of mistreatment within the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, contact the Office of the Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner
  • Do you need advice on the subject? Do not hesitate to contact the Elder Mistreatment Helpline, a bilingual and free telephone line. This confidential service is offered 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    Telephone: 1 888 489-2287
     Elder Mistreatment Helpline website

Information sheets 

Fact or Fiction?

In a majority of cases, abuse is suffered at the hands of strangers. True or False?
False. In a majority of cases, elders are abused by someone they know. In total, 55% of cases handled by Ligne Aide Abus Aînés involve someone in their immediate or extended family.

The risk of abuse varies depending on the victim’s income.
In reality, anyone can be a victim of abuse, regardless of their social status or income.

A strong social network, continued community involvement, and self-awareness are all factors that help elders protect themselves.
Indeed, the above factors are just a few of the intrinsic and extrinsic elements likely to reduce the risk of abuse. Conversely, social isolation, reliance on others for basic care, difficulty communicating, and being a woman all increase the risk of vulnerability.

Elders quickly denounce their situation of mistreatment.
In fact, seniors who experience abuse are usually torn between feelings for the abuser and the desire to speak out. Some seniors may be dependent on the person abusing them. On the other hand, some seniors do not realize that they are being abused. 

Did you know?

Mistreated elders are rarely inclined to seek help because they feel ashamed, guilty, or helpless. Often, they depend on the person mistreating them, or they tend to downplay the situation or are distrustful of the resource providing help.

There are two forms of abuse: violence (mistreatment of an elderly person) and negligence (failing to meet an elder’s needs).

Financial and psychological abuse are the most frequent types of abuse.

The L-6.3 Act to combat maltreatment of seniors and other persons of full age in vulnerable situations came into force on May 30, 2017. The Act makes it easier to report cases of abuse and confirms the possibility to waive confidentiality or professional secrecy where there is a serious risk of death or significant injury. It also provides protection against reprisals and immunity from proceedings.

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