• 1990 4% (or 100,000 elders) experienced abuse
  • From 1990-2005, the overall police-reported violence against elders increased by 20%
  • 1986-1998 increased by almost 20%
  • 1999 the number had risen to 7%
  • Between 2000 and 2010, 883 homicides involving elders were committed, which represented 14% of all homicides in Canada.
  • 2010 there were 316 violent incidents per 100,000 elders
  • 1 in 4 cases of abuse are reported, so the actual number of cases is greater than the statistics indicate
  • Psychological (emotional) and financial are the most common types
  • More common with females, approx. 72yrs of age, living with the abuser
  • Abuse is more common at the hands of a family member, staff member, spouse, or friend
  • Senior males are 1.5 times more likely to be victims of a violent crime than senior females; however, women are more likely to suffer violence at the hands of a family member (47 per 100,000) than males in the same situation (36 per 100,000)

With increasing age, the rate of abuse declines:

  • 52/100,000 Aged 65-74
  • 34/100,000 Aged 75-84
  • 22/100,000 Aged 85+

(Statistics Canada, 2012)


Canadian citizens were polled to determine their awareness of elder abuse, and these were the findings:

95% felt that elder abuse was hidden and goes on undetected

22% felt that they knew a elder who might be experiencing abuse

90% felt that the abuse would get worse over time

87% felt that raising awareness among elders about their rights to live safely and securely, was the most important priority

67% felt older women were more likely to be abused than men

12% have searched for information for someone they knew or suspected was being abused

5% have searched the internet for information on elder abuse issues

Lastly, 5% of seniors polled reported that they had experienced abuse, 44% stated that they had sought help

(Environics Research Group, 2008)


Environics Research Group (2008). Awareness and Perceptions of Canadians Toward Elder Abuse. Human Resources and Social Development Canada, 1-119. Retrieved from

Statistics Canada (2012). Victimization of older Canadians, 2009. Retrieved from