Find a private moment and space where you can both speak freely. Try to avoid being judgmental or imposing your opinions. Instead, ask questions that convey a sense of caring.
Adults, who are mentally capable, have the right to make decisions about their assets and money. You may disagree with their decisions, but they have the right to independence, privacy and confidentiality.
Don’t make assumptions about someone’s capabilities or intentions based purely on their age. Recognize that discriminatory thinking and stereotypes about older people may be impacting your judgment and approach.
If you suspect a person may be susceptible to frauds or scams, tell them about stories of scams you’ve read about on GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca or in the newspapers. This can empower them to recognize the tricks scammers use.
Get the consent of the older adult before taking any action. This includes asking for their permission to accompany them to the bank or a lawyer’s office, or helping them review contracts or financial documentation. If they do not want your help, respect their wishes but offer to provide support.
Visit the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (CNPEA) and Elder Abuse Ontario (EAO) for more resources and tips. You may also wish to contact local law enforcement agencies (police) for further guidance.