Are the seniors you love financially safe?

By Nancy Jackson, AFCC – Credit Counselling Services of Peterborough

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We are very fortunate indeed if we have a senior in our life who we love and value and enjoy being with. Seniors contribute so much in so many ways to the quality of our lives and to our communities.  The Ontario Senior’s Secretariat has designated June as Senior’s Month. Their theme this year is “Seniors Making a Difference”.  Do you have a senior who makes a difference in your life? While we take time to celebrate the elders in our lives, take time to show them you care, and ask about their wellbeing.

Their financial wellness may be more difficult to ask about. At Credit Counselling Services, we know that it can be challenging to talk to elders about their finances. For most of us, this is a very private topic and difficult to discuss, even to family, so it is not surprising that any questions may seem invasive or “none of your business”. It may be helpful to try a “Did you know?… approach to the topic. For example:

Did you know that financial abuse is one of the most common forms of abuse against seniors and frequently goes unreported?  Or, did you know that the Government of Canada has designated June 15th as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day? You can also try a simple lead question like: The prices of things are sure going up, how are you managing? Be alert to changes in normal food purchases, unpaid bills, collection calls.

Financial abuse, scams, fraud and theft can take many forms and happen anywhere. At the door, over the phone, online and even at cash registers. Sadly, abuse often happens at the hands of those we thought we could trust. Talk about common basic safety rules that apply to all of us such as: trust your gut, never do business with anyone you did not contact first, and that it’s okay to “just say no”, hang up, or don’t open the door. To learn more about staying safe, or the signs of elder abuse, including financial abuse, visit:

seniors.gc.ca , elderabuseontario.com , getcybersafe.ca , and seniors.gov.on.ca

You can celebrate Seniors Month with Credit Counselling Services at the City of Peterborough’s annual Senior’s Showcase on June 15th between 9:30 – 4:30 at the Peterborough Sports and Wellness Centre. Please stop by and say hello!